Congress leaders Ghulam Nabi Azad, Manikrao Thakre and four others had a close shave as the rear tyre of a private chartered aircraft burst after touchdown at a private airfield in Amravati on Friday. None of the passengers were hurt.
The six-seater Italian make Piaggio Avanti was ferrying the passengers from Akola on a scheduled election campaign for the civic polls in Amravati.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has asked Taj Air, a city-based private charter company operating the plane, to submit a copy of the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) data.
“Private airfields are not as well maintained as state-owned airports. We want to access the conversation in the cockpit to assess if the crew followed the standard operating procedure,” said a DGCA official.
A team of Taj Air engineers left for Amravati to replace the deflated tyre of the aircraft. “It was an unfortunate incident,” said Atiesh Mishra, general manager, flight operations, Taj Air.
Sanjay Dutt, Congress spokesperson, said chief minister Prithviraj Chavan had talked to the two senior party leaders on board the aircraft. “We are relieved that all the passengers are safe,” Dutt said.
Last month, the DGCA had issued a special safety advisory for private charter and helicopter operators ahead of the assembly elections in Maharashtra, including Mumbai.