The AI flight had to conduct an early rotation due to the presence of the vehicle, and the flight landed safely in the capital after the incident.
A Pune-New Delhi Air India flight suffered damage at the Pune Airport when its pilot conducted an emergency lift-off during take-off when he noticed a man and a jeep on the runway. The A321 aircraft landed safely at the Delhi Airport despite the accident, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) officials told PTI. The DGCA officials were quoted in the report as saying that during takeoff roll at the speed of 120 knots, the Air India crew saw a jeep and a person on the Pune Airport tarmac and conducted an early rotation to avoid a collision. The report further adds that Air India has been advised to remove and analyse the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) of the flight.
Another DGCA official privy to the investigation was quoted as saying that the aircraft has been withdrawn from service during the investigation and AI has been asked to work with Pune Air Traffic Control to search for any markings on the runway tarmac there.
The A321 aircraft arrived at New Delhi Airport from Pune as AI 852, and it was scheduled to leave for Srinagar as AI 825, but certain marks were seen on the aircraft’s body towards the empennage (tail) area, hence it was withdrawn for a thorough investigation, an Air India spokesperson told PTI. The spokesperson added that the CVR and the readouts from the Solid State Flight Data Recorder (SSFDR) would be investigated.
Officials of the Indian Air Force were quoted by ANI as saying that a service vehicle had been allowed in the morning hours to conduct routine tasks, and it reached a spot close to the runway while the Air India flight was on the take-off roll. The AI flight had to conduct an early rotation due to the presence of the vehicle, and the flight landed safely in the capital after the incident. The Indian Air Force is investigating the incident, ANI tweeted.
The Indian Air Force manages the runway and the Air traffic control (ATC) at the Pune Airport.