News Plane incidents — 11 March 2013

One hundred and forty passengers on board an IndiGo flight from Chandigarh to Mumbai had a narrow escape after the aircraft veered off the runway after landing at the Mumbai airport.

The IndiGo flight 6E433 damaged some runway lights while landing on Saturday.

According to a Mumbai Mirror report, the mishap, which would have called for a full emergency response was not reported to the Air Traffic Control and the pilot parked the plane for its 140 passengers to disembark.

It was only five minutes after the flight had landed that the ATC asked airfield staff to inspect the area as the surface movement radar (SMR) showed that the aircraft had deviated from the centre of the runway.

The pilot of the aircraft was on Sunday called for questioning. The preliminary report is expected to be submitted to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) soon.

According to a Hindustan Times report, the DGCA’s preliminary probe found that an aircraft maintenance engineer with the airline had sheepishly changed tyres of the plane without informing airport authorities.

“Our investigations into the incident are on,” a DGCA official said.

The airport’s main runway had to be closed for almost two hours to clear the area and repair the lights. Most arriving and departing flights were consequently delayed by 30 to 40 minutes.

The airline said in a statement that the plane went off the runway due to a “sudden gust of wind”.

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