The pilot of a Bangalore-bound Air India aircraft, with around 125 passengers on board, landed under emergency conditions at Bhopal airport when he found the cockpit door jammed as he tried to open it after having visited the washroom, airline sources said today.
The pilot of Airbus A-320, operating flight AI-403 from Delhi, made the landing Monday evening under emergency conditions at Raja Bhoj Airport in Bhopal.
He wanted to go to the washroom but he found the door locked, they said. The flight had taken off from Delhi around 5.00 pm and landed at Bhopal an hour later.
After Air India's technicians fixed the problem, the aircraft pursued its onward journey around 8.00 pm and reached Bangalore without any trouble, the sources said. AI-403 is a direct flight from Delhi to Bangalore.
In a statement, Air India said the flight (AI-403) of May 13, flying from Delhi to Bangalore, was diverted to Bhopal due to technical reasons.
"The Commander of the flight had left the cockpit for a short while to visit the toilet and on returning to the cockpit found the door locked. The door had got jammed and all efforts to open the door even from inside by the co-pilot failed," an Air India spokesperson said in the statement.
After taking permission from ground control, the co-pilot diverted the flight to Bhopal and landed there at 1755 hours.
The door was rectified by ground maintenance engineers at Bhopal and the flight took off from Bhopal at 2045 hours after clearance from DGCA and reached Bangalore at 2230 hours.
"During the time the door was locked, in addition to the co-pilot, who was a Commander himself, there was a supernumerary trainee pilot in the cockpit.
"All precautions and procedures regarding safety were observed during the entire process. The incident posed no danger to the aircraft passengers and the crew," the spokesperson said.