VIJAYAWADA: An Air India Express flight coming from Doha as part of the Vande Bharat mission hit an electric pole while landing at the Vijayawada International Airport in Gannavaram, Andhra Pradesh on Saturday. As per the Gannavaram Airport Director's Madhusudan Rao's statement all the 64 passengers and the crew on board the Boeing 737 were safe and the flight wing was slightly damaged.
As per reports the international flight has departed from Doha, the capital of Qatar, to Tiruchirappalli via Vijayawada on Saturday as part of the Vande Bharat Mission. After landing at Vijayawada Airport at 4.49 pm, the plane was on its way from the runway to the parking in the apron when the right wing hit an electricity pole.
The flight after landing was proceeding from the runway to Bay No. 5 and it is reported that the pilot followed the leading margin (yellow) line instead of the central yellow line. As a result the flight's right wing hit the high mask lights pole and the pole fell down. The flight's right wing got minor damage. Passengers and crew all are safe. Air India staff and technical personnel are attending," sources said.
A jerk was felt during landing but nothing major happened as the pilot was alert. However a major accident was averted when the pole fell at close distance from the plane. Airport fire-fighters and security forces immediately reached the plane. At the time of the accident, there were 19 passengers landing at Vijayawada airport and 45 passengers travelling to Thiruchunapally. Airport director G Madhusudhan Rao said arrangements were made to shift the passengers from the plane and were sent another flight to Tiruchirappalli.
The Airport Authority of India has ordered an inquiry into the incident. This is the second such incident in the history of Vijayawada Airport. On August 28, 1980, the Vickers' Viscount VT-DJC aircraft of HUNS AIR landed hard and bounced thrice, before the nose gear collapsed. The airplane which had lost control, veered off the runway to the right and came to rest. All 29 occupants escaped without injuries while the aircraft was damaged.
I arrived here on an Air India Express flight from Qatar. There were jerks inside after the plane landed on the runway. The plane apparently stopped. We panicked not knowing what had happened. By the grace of God we escaped unscathed, said Reshma, a passenger who was on her way from Doha to Nidadavolu in West Godavari District.