Two planes carrying 400 passengers narrowly missed each other at the weekend, less than two months after the world's worst mid-air collision. Aviation officials confirmed the near crash 50 nautical miles from New Delhi on Saturday night between an Indian Airlines Airbus 320 and an Air India Boeing 747. Both aircraft, flying from Bombay with a total of 400 passengers, were preparing to land at about 8 pm local time when they came within 300 metres of each other. Officials said an inquiry had been ordered and flight recorders from both aircraft seized, along with the recordings of air traffic controllers. The incident comes less than two months after a Saudi Airways passenger airliner crashed into an incoming Kazakh Airways transport plane 90 kilometres north of New Delhi, killing all 349 aboard. Aviation sources said the near-miss happened a few minutes outside Delhi when the Indian Airlines flight was given clearance to descend from 9,100 metres to 3,000 metres in preparation for landing. But when it reached 6,080 metres, the aircraft was dangerously close to the Boeing 747 - which had reportedly been given clearance to descend to 6,080 metres - and flying straight towards it. The Indian Airlines captain managed to manoeuvre his plane away at the last minute. That the Air India jumbo was flying at a higher speed also helped to avert a collision and the two aircraft landed safely within minutes of each other. Federal Aviation Minister C. M. Ibrahim was on board the domestic airliner. 'It is nothing short of a disaster,' said Wing Commander Prafulla Bakshi of the Indian Air Force and the former deputy director of aircraft accident investigation. The civil aviation authorities, he said, were playing with people's lives. He said the main problem was that senior civil aviation officers had little or no knowledge of the operational aspect of flying or flight control. Because of this, the entire outfit had become 'rudderless, inefficient and accident-prone'. The Indian Commercial Pilots' Association has blamed outdated navigation and communication systems incapable of coping with increasing traffic.