TIRUCHY/CHENNAI:After a flight from Singapore had a hydraulic system snag, the pilot opted to divert the flight to Chennai airport without attempting to land it in Tiruchy where the runway is not long enough for an emergency landing.
The pilot of the Tiger Air (TGW-2664) flight, had surmised that if the plane were to land on the short runway, it could overshoot and end in disaster.
The plane was rerouted to Chennai with 176 people on board and it landed safely. The low-cost carrier often flies between Singapore and South Indian cities many times a day, usually with an excellent load factor (passengers).
The mid-air scare occurred after pilot noticed the hydraulic systems snag. The alert pilot asked Air Traffic Control whether they could divert to Chennai — where their nearest service engineers and station were located.
Soon, the plane arrived here and all the passengers disembarked a while later. Though it was in the wee hours of the day, the airline arranged transportation to take the passengers to Tiruchy — as the repairs were likely to take some time. With the next flight operating to Tiruchy only a few hours later at 6.40 am, most people opted to take the transport as it would take a little less than five hours to reach Tiruchy city by road.
As the flight didn’t arrive on Monday night, a total of 176 passengers who were waiting at Tiruchy airport were taken to a private hotel in the city. The flight again reached Tiruchy at 7.50 pm on Tuesday and departed at 9 pm, airport officials said.
A TigerAir spokesperson at Tiruchy clarified that it was a “technical problem,” but opted not to divulge details.
No land for wide body aircraft
Tiruchy: To accommodate a wide body aircraft, the Tiruchy runway has to be expanded from the existing 8,136 feet to 12,500 feet. For that 164 acres of land have to be acquired. But most of the land is held by the defence sector. Despite repeated representations from he public and NGOs, the issue remains unresolved