Taxiing AI flight suffers bird hit; cancelled

Vasco/Panaji: An Air India flight from Goa to Delhi and Srinagar via Mumbai, with 164 passengers, including three infants on board, had a narrow save after it hit a bird as it was taxiing for take-off around 7.15am at Dabolim airport on Tuesday. No one was injured, but eight suction blades of the aircraft’s engine number two were damaged, forcing the flight to be cancelled.Airline officials have opined that the sea-facing garbage dump at Sada, Mormugao, which, by road, is slightly over 8km from the airport, is responsible for the proliferation of birds around the airport. Two years ago, in September, almost 10 bird hits were reported at the airport by pilots and many minor hits had gone unreported. Officials told TOI that under Indian Aircraft Rule 1937 dumping of garbage should be avoided within a 10km-radius of airports.Following the latest incident, director of the Dabolim international airport, S Rao, requested the district collector to immediately call for a meeting of all authorities concerned to tackle the bird-hit menace.Describing what occurred, sources said a loud sound was heard as flight AI866 was taxiing for take-off, prompting speculation that a tyre had burst. But checks by technicians revealed that a bird had hit an engine. Despite efforts, the damage could not be repaired and the plane had to be towed to the parking bay.Passengers were asked to disembark, given brunch, and most were accommodated on afternoon flights. About 30 passengers were given hotel accommodation and would be flown out on Wednesday, said airline officials. They added that men and material to repair the damaged plane had arrived and repairs were expected to be completed by late Tuesday evening.Speaking to the media, Rao said, “It has been brought to my notice that almost two years ago the bird-hit problem was on the rise at Dabolim airport. It is not a one-man show and it will require the effort of all to solve this problem. Only keeping the premises clean inside will not work. The surroundings should also be clean.” He said he would emphasize on awareness regarding the problem and the ways to tackle it in the upcoming meeting.In September 2012, almost 10 bird hits were reported at Dabolim by pilots and many minor hits went unreported. Air Arabia and Qatar Airlines, operating at 3:30am and 4:30am respectively, had reported bird hits then. Former South Goa collector N D Agarwal had warned of criminal offences being registered against defaulters if any casualty occurred. He had asked for a no-dumping zone within the 10km radius of the airport. The same has not materialized.TOI Goa News

Source:: Goa News Online

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *