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Pilot saves bird-hit flight in time

Patna, Aug. 16: A Delhi-bound IndiGo (flight 6E 191) aircraft had a close shave during take-off today when a bird flew into its left engine, damaging three blades of the turbo fan.

The Airbus A320, carrying 162 passengers and six crew members, had picked up a speed of around 150 to 170 nautical miles (around 700kmph) on the runway when the bird, apparently attracted by the waste pile-up on the airport periphery, hit the plane around 2.30pm. The pilot applied the emergency brakes, bringing the plane to a screeching halt.

The left-hand side engine was damaged after being hit by a bird. There was no casualty. All passengers were offloaded and the aircraft was taken to the parking bay. The plane would operate only after safety engineers give it a fit-to-fly certificate, said an airline source. All passengers were accommodated on other IndiGo flights from Patna.

The incident has again brought into focus the lack of proper waste disposal facilities in and around the airport.

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