BHUBANESWAR: A major mishap was averted as an Air India flight developed technical snag before the take off at Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) here on Sunday. The pilot had to cancel the take-off at right time to prevent any untoward incident.According to sources, while the Bhubaneswar-Delhi flight AI 078 was taxing on the runway for take-off, the pilot applied brakes multiple times and realised that the engine had encountered a technical snag. The pilot took a call not to fly and the aircraft returned to the parking bay at 10.21 am, BPIA Director SC Hota said.
There were 176 passengers on board and all of them were evacuated to the passenger lounge of BPIA. Alternative arrangements were made to adjust around 10 passengers, who were flying overseas on other domestic airlines flying to Delhi, and the rest were accommodated in local hotels.
While the flight was scheduled to depart at 9.45 am, at around 1.15 pm the pilots informed the passengers that the aircraft will be air-worthy only after repair. Air India sent in men and materials from Delhi on AI 473 flight which landed here at 9.15 pm following which the repair work started. However, the same aircraft, which flies back to Delhi as AI 474, was delayed by around two and a half hours. AI 474 took-off at 11.45 pm, said the sources.
Even as a number of passengers complained of negligence on the part of AI authorities, the latter claimed that adequate care has been taken to minimise inconvenience.Woman grandmaster Padmini Rout was booked in the same flight to go to Delhi to attend an international chess championship. She boarded another flight for Delhi.
Meanwhile, another Delhi-bound flight was cancelled on the day apparently due to technical problem. Indigo flight 6E 5405, which was scheduled to take off from BPIA at 9 pm, was cancelled.
While there was no official confirmation from the airline, airport sources said the flight was cancelled due to operational requirements.