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‘Engine trouble, returning to Delhi’: Rahul Gandhi tweets with video

Rahul Gandhi’s aircraft lying to Hubballi had suffered snag mid-air and its auto-pilot system also failed, days ahead of the assembly elections in Karnataka in April last year.

lok sabha elections Updated: Apr 26, 2019 11:59 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
A plane carrying Congress president Rahul Gandhi to Patna returned to Delhi on Friday after suffering engine trouble.(Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi, on his way to address election campaign rallies, tweeted on Friday about an “engine trouble” in his chartered flight from New Delhi to Bihar’s Patna, forcing them to return back.

Rahul Gandhi also posted a 21-second video along with the tweet, which showed the pilots manoeuvring the small plane with the Congress president and other leaders sitting inside.

“Engine trouble on our flight to Patna today! We’ve been forced to return to Delhi. Today’s meetings in Samastipur (Bihar), Balasore (Orissa) & Sangamner (Maharashta) will run late. Apologies for the inconvenience (sic),” Rahul Gandhi tweeted.

The flight had left the Delhi airport at around 9:30am and landed safely at 10:21am, according to sources in the air traffic control (ATC) room.

An ATC official said the pilots had informed them about the snag in the plane and requested a priority landing after the technical glitch.

A team from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) also reached the Delhi airport after they received the information about the plane.

“We have sent two officers to inspect the plane and investigate the matter,” an official of the regulatory body for civil aviation said.

Rahul Gandhi had a similar scare when his aircraft flying to Hubballi had suffered snag mid-air after its auto-pilot system failed days ahead of the assembly elections in Karnataka last year.

The Congress party had complained to the state police, alleging that the incident raised questions of “intentional tampering to endanger the life of passengers”.

Also read: Mistake by crew, glitch hit Rahul Gandhi’s flight in April, says DGCA report

The flight data recorder analysed by DGCA confirmed that the Ligare Aviation Falcon 2000 aircraft VT-AVH was cruising at 41,000 feet when the auto pilot tripped. The aircraft started tilting to the right and also lost height. The pilot took 24 seconds to control the situation, but the DGCA report said in its report that the “‘incident was survivable”.

First Published: Apr 26, 2019 10:44 IST