A major tragedy was averted after an Air India plane from Delhi with 134 passengers on board suffered a brake failure on landing here and skidded beyond the runway before coming to a halt at the end of the strip, following which the airport had to be shut. The airline said all passengers were safe and there was no damage to the aircraft. Airport authorities were making efforts to remove the plane from the runway and make it ready for operations. AI 821 took off from Delhi at 11 am and reported a brake failure as it touched down at the Jammu airport at 12.15 pm. After the brake failure, the aircraft suffered tyre burst and overshot the runway before coming to a halt at the end of the strip. Four of its tyres burst, an official said.
The airline was operating an Airbus Classic A320, which is due to be phased out in the next few months, according to an Air India official. “As per initial reports, after touch down the plane had a brake loss and all emergency procedures were followed. By the time the plane stopped, it had skidded beyond the runway. Four wheels deflated during this. There is no damage to the property and no injuries to anyone,” said the airline official. Airport authorities said they would be able to remove the aircraft by this evening and as many as 10 flights had been affected because of the incident.
“The aircraft came to a halt at the end of the runway. We are in the process of removing the aircraft,” D K Gautam, Director, Jammu airport said. Air India plans to retire all its classic A320s by the end of this fiscal and has placed an order for 22 A320 Neos out of which four planes have already been inducted by the airline. Pilots in the past have termed this plane as “lethal and snag-prone” and had two years ago urged the aviation regulator DGCA to ground these planes in the interest of passenger safety.