122 on board AI plane survive bird-hit scare

122 on board AI plane survive bird-hit scare

An Air India (AI) flight landed safely after it suffered a bird-hit on Monday. All 122 on board escaped unscathed.

The Delhi-Bhopal flight was diverted to Jaipur, where all passengers disembarked.
Claims surfaced that the pilot had continued the flight after the bird-hit, breaching safety protocol, and also that the Air Traffic Control had cited his violation to refuse permission for the plane to land in Delhi. Officials have denied both charges. The aircraft was hit during take-off from the Bhopal airport in the morning, an AI spokesperson said.

“The pilot and co-pilot were watchful of the impact during the journey, and upon feeling the vibration in the engine decided to land at the Jaipur airport, which was also the nearest airport,” the spokesperson said.

Sources said seven blades of the aircraft were damaged after it was hit by a bird.
AI said it had sent passengers in a hurry to Delhi on alternative flights, and international travellers in taxis.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has often said wildlife and birds pose a “significant threat” to flight safety. “Most incidents occur at the critical phase of the flight, resulting in structural damage and damage to aircraft systems,” a DGCA report said in 2015.

Was fuel leaking?

 Prabhat Jha, BJP Rajya Sabha member, was among those on the plane. He appreciated the way in which the pilot had handled the emergency.

 The crew had announced the plane would land in Jaipur, and handled passengers “in a proper manner”, he said.

 “The pilot dealt with the situation adroitly... After the plane landed safely, he informed (passengers) about the mid-air fuel leakage,” Jha was quoted by PTI as saying.

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