Over 100 people on board an Air India plane had a close shave when two tyres of the left landing gear of the aircraft deflated soon after it landed at the IGI airport IN New Delhi on Tuesday.
"Air India's Mumbai-Bhopal-Indore-Delhi flight (IC-133) with 100 passengers and six crew members landed at Delhi airport at 1058 hrs and was taxiing towards the parking bay when engineers at the ground noticed two deflated tyres of the left landing gear and sparks emanating due to friction," an airline official said. They then immediately informed the pilot and asked him to stop the Airbus-320 aircraft.
The crash fire tenders were immediately called in, which sprinkled water and foam to cool the aircraft's undercarriage in order to prevent any fire, he said, adding "all the passengers onboard are safe". According to sources, there was no tyre burst as the pilot did not notice any unusual jerk. "The tyres got deflated after the aircraft had landed and while it was taxiing," they said.
Tuesday's incident at the IGI airport is in the series of close shaves involving passenger aircraft. Earlier this month, an Air India Express Dubai-Pune flight, with 112 passengers on board, rapidly descended several thousand feet over Muscat air space.
Reports had alleged that the commander was not in the cockpit and the co-pilot could not control the aircraft as it started the descent. 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 fell into a ravine killing158 passengers.