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Snag forces flight to land

An Air India flight made an emergency landing at Calcutta airport on Wednesday after a snag mid-air.

The flight from New Delhi to Guwahati (IC 889), with 136 passengers on board, touched down in the city around 1.45pm, said airport officials.

A representative of the airline, however, denied that it was an emergency landing. The pilot landed in Calcutta as a precautionary measure, claimed the Air India official.

The airline maintenance officials fixed the problem and the flight took off for Guwahati again around 4.45pm with all the passengers.

The pilot contacted Calcutta’s Air Traffic Control (ATC) around 1pm. “He told us that there was a problem with hydraulic pressure in the aircraft,” said an ATC official.

Hydraulic pressure is used to control aircraft movement. According to airline officials, there are at least two back-ups for faulty hydraulic pressure systems.

The flight had almost reached Guwahati when the pilot got in touch with the ATC. It landed in Calcutta with fire tenders ready on the runway. Other precautionary measures were also taken by the airport authorities.

The plane was unable to move out of the runway on its own, said an ATC official. “The aircraft was stranded on the main runway for 15 minutes. It had to be pushed out with a tow bar, which is normally used to shove aircraft out of the parking area before it taxies into the runway.” Other flights took off from the secondary runway during the period.

According to another ATC official, the flight did not land in Guwahati because the airport does not have the facility to tow an aircraft away from the runway if it is not able to move on its own.

The Air India spokesperson denied that the aircraft had to be towed away. “It was stranded on the runway as it was not getting the clearance to move into the taxi way.”

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