New Delhi, July 18 (): Modi had a narrow escape as the Air India flight carrying him from Brazil was to cross the same path as the ill-fated MH 17 that was shot down by Ukraine rebels.
As per reports reaching here, Modi’s flight that took off from Brazil after attending BRICS summit had a stopover at Frankfurt. The flight took off at GMT 11:22, two hours after the MH17 that took off. Modi’s Air India 001 was travelling on the same flight path that MH17 was heading on. The flight would have taken the same path that comes under Ukraine flight information control.
Air Force authorities say that the pilot got the information of MH 17 having been hit by a missile and changed the course. The path that a flight takes is decided by the pilot. In this case, the pilot had the choice to fly over Russian territory or over the sea.
The possibility that if MH17 was not shot down by Ukraine rebels, Air Force 001 carrying Modi had the possibility of taking the same path and would have risked of meeting the same fate, say aviation experts. Yet another version is that it is hypothetical as the pilot need not have taken the path. The miraculous escape of Modi is a topic of hot discussion.
Civil Aviation minister Raju says that the Air Force One carrying Modi was never under a threat. He says the Air Force One is always on the radar of the foreign country. Secondly, the flight path and data are conveyed to the country that it flies over, in case a VIP like PM is travelling.
In case of a commercial flight, the country receives all information and is given a code to be transmitted on entering the airspace of a country; if does not tally, then that country Air Force jets will scramble in seconds to provide escort and make it land in the nearest airport.
Meanwhile, the blame game has started over MH17 being shot down. Ukraine says that Russian missiles were used and hint at the neighbour being behind it. It says it has recorded conversations between two Russian commanders.USA has said that it would give all assistance to a probe.