AI plane hits airport wall, flies with severe damage
TRICHYDUBAI FLIGHT Close shave for 136 on board, pilots face action
NEWDELHI: More than 130 passengers and crew on board an Air India flight to Dubai had a miraculous escape on Friday when the plane brushed against a 50-feethigh perimeter wall during takeoff from Trichy in Tamil Nadu and flew in a damaged condition for four hours, turning around finally to land in Mumbai.
The underside of the aircraft suffered severe damage when it hit the wall, after one of its tyres first struck equipment used to guide a pilot to land a flight. An expert aware of the extent of the damage said a catastrophe may have resulted had the plane flown on any longer. The entire duration of the flight, including the detour to Mumbai, was four hours.
The Boeing 737 had 130 passengers and six crew members on board. Passengers inside the aircraft were jolted and panicked as the aircraft shook and tossed about, PTI reported from Trichy. The passengers were quietened by assurances by crew that there was nothing to worry about, and the flight proceeded, it said.
“After flight IX611 from Trichy to Dubai took off, it was reported by local airport officials that the aircraft might have come in contact with the perimeter wall. The matter was conveyed to the pilot in command, who reported that aircraft systems were operating normally,” said a spokesperson for Air India Express, the flight’s operator, a subsidiary of national carrier Air India. The aircraft was then diverted to Mumbai.
A Boeing 737 takes off at a speed of 250-290 kilometers per hour, depending on its passenger and fuel load, serving as an indication of the velocity it was travelling at when it brushed against the perimeter wall at Tiruchirappalli International Airport.
According to information from flight tracking website FlightRadar24, the plane had reached its cruising altitude of 36,000 feet and had completed more than half the crossing of the Arabian Sea when it turned around towards Mumbai.
The plane was flying at roughly 826 kmph – the typical cruising speed for commercial airliners.