AI 997, from Kozhikode to Sharjah, with 179 on board, had to make a ‘full emergency’ landing at Mumbai airport on Friday night; medical personnel and other emergency crew were on standby, but the aircraft managed to land safely
Adding to the list of technical glitches faced by the national carrier, an Air India flight with 179 people on board had to make a ‘full emergency’ landing at Mumbai airport due to an engine failure on Friday night.
When a full emergency is declared, fire brigades, ambulances, Central Industrial Security Force personnel, and airport and airline staff ready themselves for the landing of the aircraft. Representation pic
Air India’s flight 997 was en route to Sharjah from Kozhikode when the ‘full emergency’ landing was made. When a full emergency is declared, fire brigades, ambulances, Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel and airport and airline staff ready themselves for the landing of the aircraft.
AI 997 was, however, able to make a safe landing at the city airport at 10.31 pm on Friday. The flight, an Airbus 320, was carrying 172 passengers and seven crew members, and the decision to undertake an emergency landing was taken after sparks were seen flying off an engine on the left side of the aircraft.
All the concerned authorities were present when the flight landed and medical emergency personnel were also present at the spot in case of any untoward situation. After the flight landed safely, it took four hours for the new aircraft to take off.
“Though the passengers were shifted out of the old aircraft immediately, the new aircraft could take off only at 2.25 am, because the airline took time to arrange for it,” explained a senior airport official. The affected aircraft was then parked at the Air India hangar.
Not the first time
This is not the first time an Air India aircraft had to make a full emergency landing at the city airport due to technical reasons. A full emergency had been declared at the city airport around 12.30 pm on October 15 last year, when an Air India flight had to return all the way to Mumbai airport instead of landing at Coimbatore, because of a hydraulic failure.
Air India’s flight 657 had left from Mumbai at its scheduled time of 10 am and was to land at Coimbatore around 11.50 am. It was then that the pilot realised that the landing gear was not functioning. After informing the Air Traffic Control (ATC), full emergency was declared but the aircraft could not land at Coimbatore, as not all airports in the country are equipped to handle full emergencies.
Since the aircraft could not land at Chennai one of the airports equipped to handle full emergency situations due to congestion, it was decided that the aircraft would return to Mumbai. The landing gear worked and the aircraft managed to land safely in the city.