CHENNAI: An Air India flight that was cancelled after a last minute technical snag on Saturday, flew out with 153 passengers on Sunday at 11.15 am. Air India flight AI 975 that flies from Chennai to Goa and then onward to Kuwait was primed to take-off and the passengers had boarded the Airbus A320 by 6.10 pm. An untimely snag with the plane’s onboard computer delayed their vacation plans by almost an entire day, before being flown on an alternative plane.
However, it wasn’t an engine snag that clipped the plane’s wings — it was an issue with the plane’s onboard computer. Everything had been going smoothly as the pilot announced seat pushback at 6.25 pm, the scheduled departure time, and began the engine testing manoeuvres, before take off. As the pilot moved the plane out of the bay, it came to his attention that one of the systems was offline and decided that it would be prudent not to continue. “He brought the plane back to the bay by 6.35 pm and consulted the engineers about what to do. They examined the computer and found that a spare part from Delhi would be required to make it fully operational and informed our engineering office immediately. The part was dispatched on AI 540 and arrived here only at midnight,” said an Air India spokesperson.
Scheduling another flight during the peak international traffic window is near impossible, so AI rescheduled the flight for Sunday morning — all the passengers were accommodated in hotels overnight, and taken to the airport early, on Sunday. An ATC official confirmed that the flaw in the system was minor, but the consensus was to delay the flight in lieu of passenger safety. “Taking off would have been all right, but in flight and landing controls may have been an issue. Repairs have been completed,” he said.