An Air India Trichy-Dubai flight had a narrow escape after it hit the ATC compound wall at Trichy airport on Thursday. The flight was later diverted to Mumbai. The flight had 136 passengers on board and all of them, including the crew members, are reported to be safe.
The flight’s underbelly got damaged and was later declared fit for operations after inspection at Mumbai Airport.
The top portion of the airport boundary wall collapsed following the accident.
As per initial reports, the Air India flight took off at 1.30 am from Trichy airport, hit a localiser antenna and then an airport boundary wall. The matter was conveyed to the pilot in command. The pilot in command reported that the aircraft systems were operating normally. It was decided to divert the aircraft to Mumbai as a precautionary measure.
The flight diverted to Mumbai and landed safely at about 5.35 AM in Mumbai and taxied on its own power to the parking stand.
The passengers were provided with appropriate refreshments at Mumbai and a relief aircraft was arranged to continue the flight from Mumbai to Dubai with fresh set of crew.
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. The two pilots have been derostered pending investigation.
The matter has been duly reported to the DGCA and the Airline is fully cooperating with the investigation.
Meanwhile, Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu has ordered a High Level Enquiry into the incident.
The incident comes almost a month after an Air India aircraft landed on the wrong runway at Male in the Maldives on September 7. An Air India A320-Neo aircraft 'AI263' with 136 people on board landed at the non-operational second runway at the Male Velana International Airport. The runway was under-construction, hence led to deflating two main tyres of the aircraft. All the passengers on board, however, escaped a potential mishap as all of them were reported to be safe.
After landing on the wrong runway, both pilots of the aircraft were de-rostered by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DCGA), indicating that the error may have been from their end, and not the airport's Air Traffic Control (ATC).