Air India jet hits wall on take-off, lands safely after four hours

Fuselage of the shredded hull of the plane that hit the airport perimeter wall (below) in Tamil Nadu state last Friday. The jet landed safely in Mumbai four hours after the incident. The two pilots of the plane have been grounded, pending an investig
Fuselage of the shredded hull of the plane that hit the airport perimeter wall in Tamil Nadu state last Friday. The jet landed safely in Mumbai four hours after the incident. The two pilots of the plane have been grounded, pending an investigation.PHOTOS: VISHNU SOM/TWITTER
Fuselage of the shredded hull of the plane that hit the airport perimeter wall (below) in Tamil Nadu state last Friday. The jet landed safely in Mumbai four hours after the incident. The two pilots of the plane have been grounded, pending an investig
Fuselage of the shredded hull of the plane that hit the airport perimeter wall (above) in Tamil Nadu state last Friday. The jet landed safely in Mumbai four hours after the incident. The two pilots of the plane have been grounded, pending an investigation.PHOTOS: VISHNU SOM/TWITTER

NEW DELHI • Air India last Friday grounded two pilots after one of its jets carrying 136 people hit an airport perimeter wall on take-off and then flew for almost four hours with a damaged body, officials said.

The Boeing 737 suffered the damage as it left Trichy in southern India bound for Dubai last Friday.

Officials at the airport in Tamil Nadu state "observed that aircraft might have come in contact with the airport perimeter wall", said an Air India statement.

"The matter was conveyed to the pilot in command. The pilot in command reported that the aircraft systems were operating normally. It was decided to divert the aircraft to Mumbai as a precautionary measure."

The jet landed in Mumbai four hours later. Pictures of the damaged aircraft went viral on social media soon after it landed safely.

The 130 passengers were moved to a new flight to Dubai.

Air India said the two pilots were "derostered pending investigation" and the incident has been reported to India's Directorate-General of Civil Aviation for investigation.

"The airline is fully cooperating with the investigation," it added.

Civil Aviation Minister Suresh Prabhu said last Friday that the government had recently ordered an independent "airline safety" review of Air India.

Mr Prabhu said on Twitter that "safety of the passengers is of paramount importance for us".

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 14, 2018, with the headline 'Air India jet hits wall on take-off, lands safely after four hours'. Print Edition | Subscribe