Guwahati/Silchar, June 11: The Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) today began a probe into yesterday’s emergency landing of an Air India ATR aircraft at Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport at Borjhar in Guwahati, amid questions over fitness of aircraft flying in northeastern airspace.
A DGCA official in Guwahati told The Telegraph that the Calcutta-based regional safety manager of the agency’s air safety wing, Sanit Kumar, today visited Borjhar airport to probe how one of the nose wheels of the ATR aircraft fell off during take-off from Silchar, forcing the aircraft to make an emergency landing at LGBI Airport in Guwahati. There were 48 people on board the aircraft.
Kumar was yesterday appointed by the DGCA to inquire into the incident.
Sources at Silchar airport said the DGCA in New Delhi has ordered the probe to fix responsibility on any member of the staff in Dumdum, Calcutta. “We cannot say what kind of action will follow since maintenance is taken care of in Calcutta. Action will depend only on what the inquiry report throws up but there will be some action,” a source at Silchar airport said.
Air India personnel at Silchar today collected the components of the ATR 42 aircraft’s nose-wheel and prepared them for dispatch to Calcutta. The ATR’s main maintenance base is at Calcutta airport.“Kumar today inspected the aircraft and held a meeting with Air India officials here and he asked them to send the nose-wheel that dropped from the ATR aircraft. He also talked to officials about the reported technical snag. At this time, all we can say is that the causes leading to the incident will be known only after the probe is over,” an official said in Guwahati today. “We have received a preliminary report. Apparently the axle of the nose wheel was intact but the left wheel came off,” a DGCA official said from Delhi.“We are trying to find out whether there was a mechanical defect or lack of maintenance,” said the official.
Air India sources said the ATR aircraft was manufactured in 1993 and was taken on lease by the airline from a British leasing company in 2002.