Monday, November 29, 1999

Close shave for AI passengers as flight suffers bird-hit

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Indore, Jun 16 (PTI) An Air India plane from Mumbai to Delhi with 140 passengers and six crew members had a close shave today when it suffered a bird hit while landing at the city airport here, sending jitters among those on board for the second consecutive day. Air India''s Mumbai-Indore-Bhopal-Delhi flight IC-133, was landing at the Devi Ahilyabai Airport here when a bird hit the aircraft, Airport Director, Vivek Upadhyaya, told PTI here. The pilot, however, landed the aircraft safely, he said. Two tyres of the same aircraft, with 106 people on board, were found deflated on landing at the Delhi''s Indira Gandhi International Airport yesterday, causing an alarm. The IC-133 flight later took off for Bhopal after engineers inspected the aircraft and found it airworthy, Air India Station Manager, V V Gadgil said. "Engineers inspected the plane and when everything was found normal, it was given permission to continue its onward journey," he said. Earlier this month, an Air India Express Dubai-Pune flight with 112 passengers on board, dropped several thousand feet over Muscat air space after hitting an air pocket, giving anxious moments to those on board. About a week later, a mid-air collision was averted by pilots as a Jet Airways and an Air India plane came ''dangerously close'' on the same flight path over Tamil Nadu. Air India flight IC 671 and Jet Airways flight 9W 4758, carrying nearly 250 passengers and crew, came close to colliding with each other at a height of 17,000 feet near Trichchirapalli air space, triggering an Air Traffic Collision Avoidance siren in both the planes. The Air India flight was bound from Chennai to Madurai and the Jet flight was headed to Chennai from Thiruvananthapuram. On June 3, a possible disaster was averted at Mumbai''s Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport when a flight was cleared for landing while another plane was waiting for take-off on the same runway. A Chennai-bound Spicejet flight with 201 passengers was cleared for take-off shortly after 1.30 a.m. but the flight commander detected some technical problem and informed the air traffic control. At the same time, the ATC had already cleared for landing a Kingfisher Airlines flight arriving from New Delhi. The Kingfisher flight too had some 200 passengers on board. On May 22, an Air India Express aircraft had overshot the runway at Mangalore airport and crashed into a ravine killing 158 passengers, the worst air dasaster in a decade. PTI HWP AS SMJ VMN.

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