Pune, February 15: Pilots of an Air India plane had to take off early after they spotted a man and jeep on the runway at Pune airport on Saturday. The aircraft, Airbus A-321, was damaged when the pilots carried out a premature and emergency takeoff after sighting of the man and jeep on the airstrip. Due to pilots' swift action, a major air mishap was averted. The damaged plane landed safely in Delhi. Air India Refuses to Issue Tickets to Personnel of Government Agencies That Owe Money to National Carrier.
Pictures of the aircraft showed damaged fuselage. Following the incident, Air India has been advised to remove the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) for its analysis, NDTV reported. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered an investigation and the damaged plane has been withdrawn from service. The aircraft was scheduled to operate AI 825 flight from Delhi to Srinagar. Air India Becomes World’s First Airline to Use TaxiBot on AI 665 Delhi-Mumbai Flight With Passengers Onboard.
"The aircraft that was scheduled to operate AI 825 to Srinagar was observed to have certain marks towards the empennage (tail) area. The aircraft has been withdrawn for detailed investigation," an Air India spokesperson told news agency ANI. A document submitted by Air India to DGCA says, "damage observed on fuselage skin and [air] frame." The aircraft had arrived from Pune on AI 852.
Air India has been advised to coordinate with Pune Air Traffic Control (ATC) during the investigation to find the markings, if any, on the Pune Airport runway. Like several airports, the Pune airport is also an Indian Air Force airfield.