The rear wheel (landing gear) on the starboard side (right side) of Air India’s Delhi-Bagdogra-Delhi flight skidded off the taxi track at Bagdogra airport on Friday scaring 109 passengers onboard the Airbus A 321 aircraft shortly after landing. The Delhi-Bagdogra flight has been grounded at Bagdogra after the incident.
The Air India’s flight AI – 879,which had already landed at the airport it was taxing through the Indian Air Force taxi track and going towards the parking area. All of a sudden the passengers felt a jerk, and then the flight came to a grinding halt.
According to sources at the airport no one was hurt and the aircraft was not damaged since the flight was moving at slow speed when the incident happened. But the sudden jerk triggered panic among passengers on board, though no one was hurt.
“The Air India flight AI 879 on Delhi-Bagdogra-Delhi sector landed at 1.09 pm. While taxing toward Indian Air Force (IAF) area, its right rear wheel skidded off from taxi track. IAF and Air India are trying to put rear wheel on the taxi track,” KK Bhowmik the director of Bagdogra Airport said.
“All flight operations are normal after the incident,” he added. There were 110 passengers on board while the number of passengers was who were supposed to board the return flight was 163. All passengers are safe the airport director informed.
“The engineers and equipment have already reached Bagdogra Airport from Kolkata,” Bhasker Roy the Bagdogra station manager of Air India said. “The incident happened when the aircraft was turning towards right in the IAF taxi track,” he said.
Engineers were working hard to bring the aircraft back on the taxi track and finally the aircraft could be brought back on the taxi track around 6.30pm, about five hours after the aircraft’s wheel got stuck in the soft mud beside the taxi track after it skidded off from the taxi track while taxing. Air India could not operate the return flight to Delhi on Friday.
The airline’s station manager Bhasker Roy hoped that the Delhi bound flight would depart at normal time on Saturday since the aircraft did not suffer any damage.
“Well-trained pilots were in control of the aircraft and there was no remote possibility of any mishap as a result. The incident happened as a result of slippery taxi track,” an air India spokesperson said.
“Since the return flight could not be operated on Friday, we have provided hotel accommodation to all tourists and outstation passengers. The local passengers went to their respective homes,” the spokesperson said. The flight would be operated on Saturday informed the spokesperson.