One hundred and fifty five passengers onboard a Mumbai-bound GoAir plane had the scare of their lives when the pilot allegedly continued to fly it despite a bird hit instead of returning to the airport here. Regulatory body Directorate General of Civil Aviation has de-rostered the two pilots and initiated an inquiry against them, an official said. “We are treating the incident as a serious matter,” said the DGCA official.GoAir’s G8 338 took off yesterday at 10.45 am and soon after, faced a bird hit during its initial climb. But instead of returning the aircraft to the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport immediately, the pilots allegedly continued with the journey.
The plane returned to the airport nearly 45 minutes later at 11.28 am. GoAir, however, said it followed the standard operating procedure and the aircraft returned to the IGI airport as a precautionary measure. “All passengers were transferred to another aircraft which was airborne at 1304 hrs,” the airline added in a statement.
Bird strikes usually occur when an airplane is flying at low altitudes. Therefore, the most favourable conditions for a bird strike are during take-offs or landings of airplanes. A bird hitting the windshield or canopy, fuselage or even the wing of an airplane can sometimes disrupt the air pressure inside the cabin and result in altitude loss or other flight- related problems. The most dangerous conditions, however, arise when a bird gets caught in the engine. This can cause a disruption in the rotatory motion of the fan blades, resulting in a partial or complete failure of that engine. However, if a bird strike does disable a plane engine, that doesn’t mean a crash is inevitable. Commercial planes are designed to fly with only one engine, and pilots are trained to fly them that way.