An investigation by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has confirmed that the Air Mauritius flight had suffered a bird hit on Thursday, leading to an aborted take-off. DGCA sources said measures to control activity at the Indira Gandhi International Airport were found to be lacking.
The 241 passengers of the Air Mauritius flight (MK 745) had a miraculous escape on Thursday at 2 p.m. after the plane suffered a suspected bird hit and then caught fire after the pilot applied the brakes to abort the take off. The passengers had to be evacuated through emergency escape chute. A separate aircraft that was supposed to take them to Mauritius on Friday morning also developed a technical snag. The ordeal for the passengers finally ended at around 11 p.m. on Friday when their flight finally departed.
“We found the remains of the dead bird inside the plane engine, where it had been sucked in. The aircraft was at a speed of 180 kmph when the pilot aborted the take off,” said a senior DGCA official. “The wheels, which faced 500 degree temperature due to the friction, have to be replaced along with the brake assembly,” he said.
“It was a major incident and we have found that measures to reduce bird activity are missing at the airport,” the official said. Airport operator Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL), however, denies the charges saying international standard procedures have been implemented at the airport to prevent bird hit incidents.