About 140 passengers on board a Mumbai-bound Indigo Airlines flight experienced a major scare on Saturday when the aircraft veered to the left of the runway at after touchdown and broke at least five lights on the edge of the airstrip.
Worse, the pilot did not report the incident. It was only five minutes after the flight had landed that the ATC asked airfield staff to inspect the area as the surface movement radar (SMR) showed that the aircraft had deviated from the centre of the runway.
“The follow-me jeep on inspe-ction found aircraft tyre marks on the shoulder of the runway and broken runway edge lights,” said a MIAL spokesperson.
The airfield staff spotted mud marks on the port side outer wheel of the plane, an Airbus A320, added the spokesperson.
The DGCA’s preliminary probe found that an aircraft maintenance engineer with the airline had sheepishly changed tyres of the plane without informing airport authorities.
An Indigo Airlines spokesperson said the aircraft faced gusty winds which could have caused the incident.
However, as per the pilot’s debriefing report (which HT has seen), the wind was less than five knots, which is negligible for an aircraft such as the A320.