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Damaged Dubai-bound AI Express plane flies for three hours, diverted to Mumbai


Daijiworld Media Network - Mumbai

Mumbai, Oct 12: A major mishap was averted due to the quick thinking of the Air Traffic Control team. A Dubai-bound Air India Express flight brushed a boundary wall during take-off from Trichy in Tamil Nadu, during early hours of October 12. The pilots who seemed unaware, continued to fly for three hours until they received communication from Air Traffic Control to land in Mumbai as precaution.

The fuselage or body of Boeing 737 aircraft which was carrying 136 passengers was extensively damaged, and officials stated it was a potentially dangerous situation.

The pilots Captain D Ganesh Babu and The First Officer Captain Anurag have been grounded for investigation.

The Air India flight, bound to Dubai took off from Trichy airport at a runway speed of 250-290 km per hour. However, while hurtling around the runway before take-off, two of its wheels hit the airport perimeter wall which collapsed on impact.

The Air Traffic Control contacted the pilots and questioned if the “aircraft might have come in contact with the wall.” However, “the pilot in command reported that all systems were operating normally,” Air India Express said in a statement.

But yet as a precaution, it was decided to divert the aircraft to Mumbai. The plane landed in Mumbai around 5.35 am. The passengers and crew are reported safe.

But upon investigation, officials found that the plane's body had tears, cracks and dents that were potentially very dangerous. Images show incredible damage to the belly. Broken parts of the plane's antenna were found on the ground at the Trichy airport, an officer said.

Another flight was arranged to take the passengers from Mumbai to Dubai.

The statement issued by Air India states the pilot in command Captain D. Ganesh Babu, has a flying experience on the B 737 aircraft of 3600 hours, including about 500 hours as commander. The First Officer Captain Anurag has an experience of about 3000 hours on the B 737.

“The aviation watchdog will investigate the entire episode. The plane might have overshot the runway,” an official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation told media.


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Comment on this article

  • Subhash Chandra, Mangalore UAE

    Sat, Oct 13 2018

    A small hole just about 5mm is enough to rip of the aircraft to pieces in mid air because of cabin pressure and the aircraft travelling at ground speed of 900 Kmph.
    its a miracle that this didn't happen thanks to the concerned staff who immediately averted this. when a jet engine takes off due to vibration & sound may be pilots didn't hear it. but one thing still raises many questions how come instruments didn't error out anything suspicious ???

    DisAgree Agree [1] Reply Report Abuse

  • nitin, kodagu

    Sat, Oct 13 2018

    while take off flight has to keep certain distance from the ground how come this is not taken into account while flying
    pilot has to be sacked for his utter negligence.

    me a driver even if i slightly brush my car while removing from parking slot i stop the car get out of the car and asses the damages. however how come pilot neglect such a big brush to the wall and fly such a long distance.

    DisAgree [1] Agree [3] Reply Report Abuse

  • Christopher Lobo, MANGALURU

    Sat, Oct 13 2018

    All You guys can be rest assured there wont be any results of all this INVESTIGATIONS
    Its Air India Express friends so cant expect anything out of it.

    Thank God all are safe

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Dev, Mangalore

    Sat, Oct 13 2018

    It is providential escape or safe landing for the aircraft, as any damage to fuselage could have torn the whole aircraft in mid air, again landing gear if had damaged & wasn't withdrawn when it took off or didn't descend when landing would have caused a major scare or potential disaster.
    The same way if any leaks in braking systems too were not substantial in this accident, most probably when the plane took off the fast turning wheels might have clipped the perimeter wall which didn't give any jolt to the plane & pilots didn't notice it at all.

    DisAgree Agree [4] Reply Report Abuse

  • Jossey Saldanha, Mangalore

    Sat, Oct 13 2018

    We are grateful to the Almighty...

    DisAgree [2] Agree [13] Reply Report Abuse

  • deepak kumar, Indian

    Sat, Oct 13 2018

    Need a thorough investigation !!!

    Lets agree that the pilots didnt notice !! But why did it take 3 hours for the ground staff to alert the Captain and First Officer ?

    If the ATC did suspect that the aircraft had brushed against the wall, why wasn't an immediate physical check done to alert the Pilots to avert a possible midair malfunction of the aircraft ?

    Easy to blame others, but no one takes the responsibility to avoid major mishaps ! Playing with innocent peoples lives !!

    DisAgree Agree [15] Reply Report Abuse

  • Rita, Germany

    Sat, Oct 13 2018

    Strange,nothing happened to the passengers.How come pilots didnt notice vibration or damage etcis a wonder .May be lot of angels were there to watch and help them.Thank God someone atleast broght them to earth .When pilots were down atleast they should have tested for alcohol in blood?or any other stuffs.It is a really wonder.God save us from such mistakes of pilots and negligence.

    DisAgree [4] Agree [8] Reply Report Abuse

  • shan, dubai

    Fri, Oct 12 2018

    Most of the pilots take a welcome drink before they start the engine.

    DisAgree [16] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

  • Mango, Mlore

    Fri, Oct 12 2018

    After all the technology and sensors, Pilots couldn't even know what had happened..
    No jolts, no vibration and not even extra sound felt passengers. That's the power of a speeding Passenger plane, No wonder it brought down the twin towers on 9/11.

    DisAgree [5] Agree [19] Reply Report Abuse

  • Narendra Kumar, Mangalore

    Fri, Oct 12 2018

    It's Almighty's Grace and the sixth sense(presence of mind!) and a quick action by air traffic control staff of Trichy airport which asked the Pilots to land the aircraft at Mumbai as a precautionary measure.

    It's a purely a human error .....crossing the runway mark before take off which is not unheard off.
    It's only the timely presence of mind of the ground staff that noticed and later which informed the traffic control room to verify the same which made the difference!

    DisAgree [4] Agree [22] Reply Report Abuse

  • ilovemangalore, mangalore

    Fri, Oct 12 2018

    DGCA ..Please cancel the license of the pilot and copilot and charge them with attempt to murder charges.. they proved to the whole world how incompetant they are and disgraced the value of the indian DGCA LICENSE.. something drastically wrong with the pilot and copilot...

    DisAgree [12] Agree [16] Reply Report Abuse

  • G R PRABHUJI, Mangalore

    Fri, Oct 12 2018

    Very strange. I am hearing this type 1st time. After investigation only we will come to khow how this was not come to the knowledge of Pilot.

    DisAgree [2] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • Haneef, West Africa

    Fri, Oct 12 2018

    This is the reason I don’t fly in AIexpress.

    DisAgree [14] Agree [27] Reply Report Abuse

  • Edward R. Monteiro, Kulshekar, Mangalore

    Fri, Oct 12 2018

    Mr. Haneef, West Africa; The accident can take place even to the best managed airlines, including in the midair. I am not justifying the action of the pilot and copilot. One small mistake it is fatality, including engine failure , whether travelling by air, train , by bus and for that matter any mode of transport. The best of the drivers have involved in accidents. No one does it deliberately. This is my experience as I have traveled by road and train extensively, the length and breadth of the country, Jai Hind

    DisAgree [2] Agree [24] Reply Report Abuse

  • Edward R. Monteiro, Kulshekar, Mangalore

    Fri, Oct 12 2018

    Mr. Haneef: While I was working in Saudi Arabia and staying in the desert area, ARAMCO had air services, duration of 15 minutes from the deserts to the City of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. I have traveled many times by air(FREE- NO Cost to us) from the desert to the City on weekends Thursdays and return by Saturday morning, where in the deserts have only runway but No Aircontroller office in the deserts, it was pilot who was managing everything including the aircraft BOEING 737. Finally it was the pilot control. Jai Hind

    DisAgree [1] Agree [14] Reply Report Abuse

  • Sameer, Saudi

    Sat, Oct 13 2018

    One day may come for emergency to fly in AI express ...time comes wait for the time .never make any thing cheap ..it may come in use one day when god gives that day

    DisAgree [2] Agree [12] Reply Report Abuse

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