It was close shave for 105 Lucknow bound passengers and seven crew members on board of IT 3169 (Mumbai- Lucknow- Mumbai) Kingfisher flight at Amausi airport on Wednesday when the aircraft landed in a closed taxi area at 9.56 am.
Kingfisher flight Airbus 320 from Mumbai to Lucknow had to be stopped all of a sudden with a thud and all the passengers inside fell on each other when the pilot Joe found that he has landed on the wrong taxiway at the Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport.
Sources said the director general of civil aviation (DGCA) had ordered an inquiry into the incident as to how the pilot landed on a taxiway that was closed for repairs for the last one week.
In the meantime blame game has already started. While the airlines tried to defend the pilot the Airport Authority of India has laid blame at the doors of the pilot.
Director airport Atul Dixit, who was in Delhi, said that all the passengers were safe. He said, "it was fault of pilot which almost brought Lucknow airport to a stop by landing the flight on the taxiway which was under repair. Taxi area was clsoed for repair from March 30 to April 16. The AAI has put a proper signage on display on the runway. Not only this the notices regarding the closure of the taxi area were served internationally."
A passenger on board SK Singh said, "We were preparing for landing at airport but the aircraft stopped all of a sudden with a huge noise, we were told to get out from the aircraft. We were shocked and in panic when we were told that the aircraft had made landing on a strip which was under repair."
However the airlines sources said that the pilot followed the instructions of the Air Traffic Control which guided him to Taxiway Delta. The pilot discovered a pothole and found that the runway had been closed. He immediately stopped the plane and prevented further damage to aircraft .Passengers were made to get off the plane on the runway.
The airport officials said that the plane was then towed away and the damages were repaired immediately. the taxiway was cleared away at 11.18 am. Other flights which were scheduled to take off in the mean time were delayed.
Airport officials said that the Lucknow airport had four taxi areas for landing of aircrafts and repair work in each of them were carried out periodically. Notices for closure of these taxi areas were served internationally and the landing of aircraft on wrong taxi area was surprising, sources said and added that strict action against the Pilot was likely if DGCA inquiry found him guilty.