An Air India aircraft was damaged while trying to avoid colliding with a person and a jeep that suddenly came on the Pune airport runway during takeoff, a DGCA official said.
The incident occurred when the pilot of A321 aircraft of the national carrier decided to immediately lift the plane to avoid the accident on Saturday (February 15) morning while damaging its fuselage.
However, despite the incident, it landed at the Delhi airport safely, they said.
“During take-off roll while at 120 knots speed, the crew saw a jeep and a person on the runway, to avoid conflict they did an early rotation. The aircraft has safely landed at Delhi,” the official of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) stated.
Air India has been advised to remove the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) for its analysis, the official added.
Another DGCA official aware of a preliminary investigation into the incident said, “The aircraft has been withdrawn from service for investigation. Air India has been advised to coordinate with Pune ATC (air traffic control) also to find out any marking on the runway.”
When asked about the incident, an Air India spokesperson said, “The A321 aircraft that was scheduled to operate AI 825 to Srinagar was observed to have certain marks towards the empennage area. This aircraft had arrived from Pune on AI 852.”
“The aircraft has been withdrawn for detailed investigation. The CVR and SSFDR (solid-state flight data recorder) readouts would be carried out and the findings shared appropriately,” the spokesperson said.
(With inputs from agencies)