Air India flight hits airport wall before take-off

The belly of the Air India Express aircraft was damaged after hitting the Trichy airport wall

The belly of the Air India Express aircraft was damaged after hitting the Trichy airport wall

All 176 passengers and 14 crew members on board Air India flight AI-101, operating on Delhi-New York route on October 10, are safe, the source said. The pilot however continued to operate the aeroplane saying the systems were operatinf normally.

A statement by Air India Express said an internal investigation into the incident has been ordered, and the pilot and co-pilot have been de-rostered until the inquiry is completed, ANI reported.

The airline also said that refreshments were served to the passengers at the Mumbai airport following which another aircraft was arranged to continue the flight to Dubai with a fresh team of crew. However, they were asked to divert to Mumbai anyway as a precaution, NDTV reported.

Officials said the plane's wheels had hit the wall. "No one suffered any injuries", it added.

Miraculously, none of the 136 passengers and crew onboard IX 611, an Air India flight bound for Dubai, were injured though pictures of the jet after it made an emergency landing in Mumbai show severe damage.

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The pilot in command was Capt. D. Ganesh Babu who has flying experience on the B 737 aircraft of 3600 hours including about 500 hours as Commander.

Air India removed the pilots from duty pending the investigation.

The fuselage or body of Boeing 737 aircraft which was carrying 136 passengers was extensively damaged, and officials stated it was a potentially unsafe situation.

Commenting on the incident, Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said he had recently ordered putting in place a third-party professional organisation to look into various safety aspects at Air India.

Tamil Nadu Tourism Minister Vellamandi N Natrajan, who assessed the spot, said, "The flight which was to go to Dubai during take-off had its take-off wheel hitting on the compound wall and the air traffic level". The flight's first officer Anurag has an experience of 3,000 hours on the B 737 aircraft.

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