Engine trouble for Rahul's aircraft; DGCA orders probe

Screenshot from the video posted by Rahul Gandhi on Twitter.

A private plane carrying Congress President Rahul Gandhi developed engine trouble enroute Patna on Friday morning, forcing him return to the national capital and delay his Lok Sabha campaign rallies.

The 10-seater Hawker 850 XP aircraft, owned by Forum 1 Aviation Private Limited, landed back in Delhi at 10:20 am. The Congress President and his entourage left for Patna in a separate aircraft soon after.

Civil aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation ordered an investigation into the incident.

Rahul took to Twitter to report the technical snag in his aircraft and informed his followers about the delay in reaching for public meetings at Samastipur in Bihar, Balasore in Odisha and Sangamner in Maharashtra scheduled for Friday.

“Engine trouble on our flight to Patna today! We've been forced to return to Delhi,” the Congress President tweeted and also posted a video of the flight which shows him, the pilot and the co-pilot in the plane.

“Tweet it out, otherwise they will say you were delayed,” Rahul is heard saying in the 21-second video posted by him.

Later, Gandhi addressed a rally in Bihar's Samastipur where he shared the stage with RJD heir apparent Tejashwi Yadav for the first time after the general elections were announced.

The aircraft belongs to the Delhi-based company Forum 1 Aviation Private Limited which claims to have acquired it in 2006.

In April last year, Rahul’s aircraft had a rough landing at the Hubbali airport.

The 500-feet-free fall and disengagement of the autopilot for a brief while had triggered a scare when the Congress President was enroute Hubbali for the campaign for the Karnataka Assembly elections.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation had found that the snag was due to a mechanical failure and grounded pilots for corrective training. The DGCA probe concluded that the incident was not serious and was “survivable”.

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