BHUBANESWAR: It was a narrow for 165 passengers and cabin crew of a flight from Delhi after the aircraft’s tyre deflated while landing on the runway here at the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) on Tuesday. Soon after experiencing the malfuntion on the Airbus 320 jet, the Captain steered and taxied the aircraft safely to the parking area and announced the problem to Air Traffic Control (ATC).
It was due to the pilot and cabin crew’s preparedness and response to the exigency, all passengers escaped unhurt and were evacuated safely. According to sources, the flight AI 077 which took off from Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport at 7 am met with the incident at while landing here at 9:20 am.
It was after grounding, the pilot realised that the front wheel of the aircraft was deflated. Ground staff of AI were pressed into action soon after the aircraft was parked and passengers disembarked. Till last reports were available, a replacement wheel and Aircraft Maintenance Engineers (AME) were was flown in from Delhi.
The maintenance work is still on. The scheduled departure of the same aircraft (recoded as AI 078) was scheduled at 9:50 am was deferred inordinately posing great inconvenience to around 150 Delhi-bound passengers from BPIA. They were stranded at the International terminal (T2) of BPIA till late evening as the National Carrier was yet to make an alternative arrangement for their departure from BPIA. The maintenance work is expected to be completed by 7 pm.
“Around 50 percent of passengers of the morning flight were accommodated in the afternoon flight AI 076. In case the equipment is not fit and air worthy by 7 pm, arrangements are on stand-by for the rest of the passengers to board AI 474 at 9:10 pm,” an AI official at BPIA said.