Stray dog causes Kingfisher plane to abort take-off in Bangalore

March 28th, 2008 - 2:28 am ICT by admin  

Bangalore, March 27 (IANS) A major mishap was averted late Thursday at the Bangalore airport when a Hyderabad-bound Kingfisher Airlines’ ATR aircraft hit a stray dog on the runway and aborted take-off after its nose-landing gear collapsed. In a belated statement, the airlines said all the 25 passengers onboard the 50-seater new ATR 72-500 aircraft were safe. They were evacuated soon after the flight (IT 2427) screeched to a halt on the runway.

“The aircraft, which joined the fleet in December 2007, hit a dog on the runway during its take-off roll causing the nose landing gear to collapse. All the passengers were evacuated by the crew,” the airlines said.

The incident happened around 21:50 IST when the scheduled flight was speeding on the runway for a take-off.

According to flight commander captain Mmopi, a black dog crossed the runway whilst the aircraft was on its take-off roll. As the runway was dimly lit, the crew did not notice the dog till it was too late to take evasive action.

“The aircraft is disabled and is being jacked up for towing off the runway,” the airlines said.

With the aircraft stranded on the single runway at the old HAL airport, flight operations of other airlines have been put on hold till the ATR is towed away.

“As the runway is blocked, we have suspended landing and take-off for the next two-three hours. The ATC (air traffic control) has diverted all in-coming flights to Chennai and other airports,” an Airport Authority of India (AAI) official told IANS.

The director general of civil aviation (DGCA) has ordered an inquiry into the mishap in conjunction with the airlines and the city airport authorities.

Meanwhile, Kingfisher chairman and CEO Vijay Mallya lamented dog menace at Indian airports still persisted posing threat to flight safety.

“It is unfortunate that dog menace still persists at airports in India causing such incidents as on the Bangalore runway. As safety is paramount at Kingfisher, I am glad our experienced crew handled the emergency successfully,” Mallya said in the statement.

Later, all the passengers were provided transport and hotel accommodation. They were also offered seats on any airlines’ flight to Hyderabad Friday morning.

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