AI grounds 2 pilots for inquiry into engine fire | delhi | Hindustan Times
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AI grounds 2 pilots for inquiry into engine fire

delhi Updated: Sep 06, 2009 02:01 IST
PTI
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Air India has de-rostered the two pilots of the Riyadh-bound Air India plane to make them available for inquiry into Friday’s incident in which one engine caught fire when the aircraft was taxiing for take-off at the Mumbai airport.

“A preliminary inquiry by the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) is going on. They have asked us to ensure availability of the two pilots and we have agreed,” an Air India spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, preliminary investigation into fire in Air India Boeing 747-400 Riyadh-bound aircraft, certified as airworthy by DGCA two days before the incident, is likely to be completed in next couple of days.

“We have started our investigation into the incident and the preliminary findings are likely to be out over the next 2-3 days,” a DGCA source said.

The airline had on Friday de-rostered an Aircraft Maintenance Engineer who was responsible for the departure of Boeing 747-400, which had 229 people on board who were swiftly evacuated through emergency exit chutes.

One of the left side engines of the 16-year-old leased aircraft had caught fire. The immediate reaction of the pilots and the emergency services of the Mumbai airport saved the lives of the passengers.

‘Chutes were opened for ventilation’

Airport authorities defended the decision to open chutes on the side of the fire in the Air India plane here on Friday, saying it was done to ensure ventilation in the aircraft.

The clarification by Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) came in the wake of criticism of the decision to open the chutes on the side of the fire exposing passengers to hazard.

A MIAL spokesperson said the passengers were evacuated from the chutes on the other side of the Boeing 747-400 aircraft as per the standard practice.