Air India flight IC-415 almost did a Mangalore at the Jaiprakash Narayan International Airport here on Monday.
The 139 passengers on board the Delhi-Patna flight had scary moments when the pilot went full throttle up after descending to an altitude of 400 metres and did a ‘go around’ before a rough landing at 12:45 am.
Flight commander H.S. Assi later apologised to the passengers for the ‘hard’ landing and attributed it to short runway.
Patna airport has a runway length of 6409 feet. But aircrafts get less to land because of threshold displacements of 439 ft on Runway 25 (due to trees in the adjoining Sanjay Gandhi Biological Park) and 908 ft on Runway 7 (due to Phulwarisharif railway cabin)
Air Traffic Control later said the Airbus 420 aircraft had to over-fly the runway. The ordeal, though, was too much for the passengers, who had to put up with a five-hour delay owing to the absence of cabin crew in Delhi and bad weather in Patna.
“After the announcement for landing, the TV panels behind the seats displayed that the flight had descended to 400 metres when it soared to 1300-1400 ft. We hovered over the Ganges and took a full circle before landing with a big thud,” said businessman Arindam Guha.
Apart from the landing, the passengers had no complaints. “The flight was comfortable,” said ex-minister Chandrika Rai.
Air India station manager Mukesh Kumar said the short runway prevented their aircraft from flying with full load. “Our pilots have lodged a verbal complaint with the Patna ATC,” he added.