‘Bird-hit might have caused Air India flight to turn back’

July 22nd, 2011 - 5:06 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) A suspected bird hit caused a New York-bound Air India flight
to return to the Indira Gandhi International Airport here an hour after it took off at 2 a.m. on Sunday, an airline official said Friday.

“We suspect a bird hit for the technical difficulty that was caused on AI-101 early Sunday morning,” a senior Air India official with the operations arm told IANS.

According to the official, the flight took-off at 2 a.m. on Sunday morning and landed back at around 3 a.m. after the pilot reported a technical difficulty in one of the engines.

“It was then decided that the aircraft should turn back. The journey was for 15 hous and there were 339 passengers on board. We did not want to take any risks, even if the problem was minor,” the official said adding that another aircraft was soon made available to fly out the passengers.

According to eye-witnesses on the ground, sparks were seen coming out of the right engine.

“We received a call from Malviya Nagar, where some people saw sparks coming out of the right engine of an aircraft,” a police officer told IANS.

He said the information was conveyed to the Delhi air traffic control (ATC).

“The aircraft made a normal landing,” the Air India official said.

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