Air India planes flies with ripped underbelly for 4 hours after takeoff damage, passengers escape unhurt
Mumbai, Oct 13 (IBNS): All 136 passengers and crew onboard Air India Express Boeing 737-800 had a miraculous escape after the flight suffered damage to its underbelly and landing gear while hitting a perimeter wall during the takeoff from Tiruchirapally Airport and then flew for nearly four hours or four hours with the pilots not aware of it.
The Air India Express international flight IX 611 (Boeing 737) flew with the ripped underbelly with the pilots unaware of the damage, media reports said.
The flight was diverted to Mumbai as a precautionary measure finally.
The flight was on its way to Dubai.
Reports said the Air Traffic Control (ATC) tower noticed the damage and immediately informed the pilots that they may have come in contact with the perimeter wall at the Trichy airport. But the pilots said the aircraft operating system was normal.
Air India Trichy pics coming in. Severe Boeing 737 damage pic.twitter.com/SJVGLiEQvx— Tarun Shukla (@shukla_tarun) October 12, 2018
However they finally landed in Mumbai as a precautionary measure diverting back from the Muscat airspace.
Several images of the damaged flight have gone viral on the social media.
Flight tracking website Flightradar24 tweeted: "Early today Air India Express #IX611 struck the ILS & damaged a brick wall at the end of RWY 27 in Tiruchirapalli on departure. The aircraft climbed to cruising altitude & flew towards Dubai before safely diverting to Mumbai 4 hours later. Details & data: https://www.flightradar24.com/blog/air-india-express-737-hits-ils-damages-wall-on-departure-flies-for-4-hours-before-diverting/ …"
As per a statement made by Air India Express which is available with the media, ''After flight IX 611 from Trichy to Dubai had taken off from Trichy at about 1.30am today, it was reported by local Airport officials at Trichy, that they have observed that [the] aircraft might have come in contact with the airport perimeter wall.''
No injury was even reported in the incident.
Reacting to the development, Minister of Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu told The Indian Express: "In order to have continuous attention towards air safety, I have also ordered concerned officials to put in place a regular safety compliance report of all airlines. Safety of the passengers is of paramount importance for us. We will take all that is required to put safety on top of aviation agenda. Growth can’t be at the expense of safety."
Image: Tarun Shukla Twitter page