Astray plane get clearance to leave | india | Hindustan Times
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Astray plane get clearance to leave

india Updated: Jun 21, 2009 00:33 IST
Soubhik Mitra
Soubhik Mitra
Hindustan Times
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It was a flight studded with errors.

An aircraft hired by the US Air Force was asked to land at the Mumbai airport on Friday night as it had strayed into the Indian aerospace without permission.

This followed a long day of fielding questions from the Indian security officials and subsequent documentation.

It got the air operation routing clearance, mandatory for foreign aircraft carrying ammunition, at 4.15 pm but failed to take off within the stipulated time as the officials were busy settling airport charges and other formalities. The plane finally left at 10.39 pm.

On Friday night, panic gripped the city after the mammoth plane carrying ammunition, described as 'lethal cargo', landed in Mumbai under emergency situation.

The Antonov 124 aircraft owned by Russian firm Volga Depr was on its way from Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean - where the US has a base - to Kandahar in south Afghanistan when it entered into Gujarat aerospace.

The Mumbai air traffic control intercepted it on orders from the defence ministry and asked the pilot to land.

The crew was forced to spend nearly 20 hours inside the aircraft, but the airport operator provided them an air-conditioning unit and a toilet cart.