TIRUCHIRAPPALLI: An Air India Express flight to Dubai had a close shave when it hit the perimeter wall of the Trichy international airport during take-off early on Thursday but still managed to fly.
There were 136 passengers and crew members onboard the aircraft, which took off from here and later landed at Mumbai after four hours. The plane took off from the Trichy airport around 1:30 am for Dubai, but was diverted to Mumbai and landed there at 5:35 am, airline officials said.
“The pilots were informed about the aircraft hitting the wall only after they were airborne and responded that the aircraft systems were operating normally, however they decided to divert the Boeing 737 aircraft to Mumbai”, the Airline said in a Statement.
The passengers were provided with appropriate refreshments at Mumbai and a relief aircraft was arranged to continue the flight from Mumbai to Dubai with the fresh set of crew.
The engineering team is assessing the damages. A large gash along the belly of the jet, multiple perforations on the engine nacelles and parts of the fuselage indicate that the passengers onboard had a narrow escape
The pilot in command was Capt. D. Ganesh Babu who has flying experience on the B 737 aircraft of 3600 hours including about 500 hours as Commander. The First Officer was Capt. Anurag who has an experience of about 3000 hours on the B 737. Both the pilot and co-pilot have been de-rostered pending investigation.
Minister of Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu has ordered an inquiry into the incident. Tamil Nadu Minister Vellamandi Natrajan visited the spot and inspected the damages to the wall, adjacent to a state highway.
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