An airplane of Air India's low-budget carrier on a flight from Dubai to Pune with 118 persons on board plunged a few thousand feet after it hit an air pocket giving tense moments just four days after the Mangalore air crash.
No one was injured in the incident that occurred on May 26 when the Boeing 737-800 of Air India Express which was on an auto-pilot mode hit an air pocket and dived over 5,000 feet while flying over Muscat, official sources said today.
Both the pilots of the flight IX-212 have been taken off duty pending investigations, which have been launched by Air India and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation.
There were 112 passengers and a six-member crew on board.
On May 22, a Boeing 737-800 had crashed in Managalore while landing after the pilot overshot the runway killing 158 persons.
There were reports that the commander of the aircraft (IX-212) was in the toilet when the airplane, after the plunge, came directly on the path of another plane.
But official sources said there was no threat of a near-miss as no other aircraft was near the Air India plane that lsot height. The enquiry would lay bare the facts, they added.
In a statement, an Air India spokesperson said the Air India Express flight "lost some height" but "not 15,000 feet as reported".
"There are no reports of any injuries to passengers and crew. The pilots have been de rostered to enable them to participate in the enquiry. The matter is being investigated," the spokesperson said, adding that the aircraft later landed safely at Pune.