CHENNAI: The Chennai airport on Thursday witnessed two air emergencies, including that of a Delhi-bound SpiceJet aircraft with 199 passengers on board. The SpiceJet plane had a right-rear tyre burst as also problems in its hydraulic systems as it took off from the city airport. By the time the ATC noticed the blowout and the hydraulic fluid spill on the runway, the aircraft was nearing Vijayawada. Since the Vijayawada airport lacks infrastructure for emergency landing, the plane was brought back to Chennai.
Fortunately the pilot made a safe landing, though the accompanying right-rear tyre too burst, which damaged the runway and disrupted flights for hours. But a SpiceJet spokesperson said the tyre burst happened only during take-off.
For passengers, the landing was particularly scary as the plane wobbled after the blowout and skidded away from the runway. Fortunately the friction between the rim and the runway did not lead to fire.
Airport director G Chandramouli said: “Immediately after it landed, we took all precautions to prevent any mishap.”
Meanwhile, an Ethiopian cargo flight sent in an SoS for emergency landing. It was low on fuel since landing was delayed by the SpiceJet plonked on the main runway. The ATC directed it to land on the secondary runway.
How the drama unfolded
- Delhi-bound SpiceJet aircraft takes off around 1:40 pm
- ATC notice tyre burst and hydraulic fluid spill on runway, alerts plane
- Upon landing, another tyre bursts, damaging the runway
- Plane stuck on runway till 6.45 pm, delaying 21 flights, diverting six