COIMBATORE: Passengers aboard a plane, bound for Bangalore suffered a scare when their aircraft collided with a foreign object on Sunday night.
A suspected Bird Aircraft Strike Hazard (BASH) resulted in a Mumbai-Chennai flight with a stopover at Coimbatore, having to return to the airport here on Sunday. The JetLite service was carrying 88 on board when the incident occurred.
Around 10 pm on Sunday, the flight is suspected to have hit a bird, believed to be a peacock while taxiing on the runway. The aircraft had apparently taken off when pilots and the flight engineer noticed that a panel was signaling a malfunction. Though the incident caused a major worry, sources said as the foreign body was not sucked into the aircraft’s engines, a major catastrophe was averted.
The pilot, acting on the ATC advice, was forced to return to the Coimbatore Airport. All the 88 on aboard were reported to have been safe and were accommodated on another flight bound for Chennai on Monday morning.
“The flight engineer has studied the cause of the incident and has filed a report to the DGCA,” said D Paul Manickam, the Coimbatore Airport Director.
Manickam also said the foreign object that collided with the aircraft was yet to be identified though it was suspected to be a large bird.
As the plane was the second last flight scheduled to depart from the Coimbatore airport, there were no serious delays, sources said.