(Image source from: The Hindu)
Air India Express flight passengers and crew which was bound for Dubai from Tiruchi had a fortunate escape after the aircraft hit an Instrument Landing System (ILS) antenna on the ground and brushed against the compound wall of the airport while departing early on Friday morning.
All 129 passengers and seven crew members on board are safe and sound as the flight IX 611 was diverted to and landed in Mumbai.
The Boeing 737-800 aircraft had first hit the antenna on the ground, which is a portion of the instrument system to guide pilots while landing, while taking off at around 1.20 a.m. It went on to brush against the compound wall of the airport close to the Tiruchi-Pudukottai Highway but the pilot still managed to maneuver and take off, sources at the airport and the airline told The Hindu.
Airport sources said one of the three Very High-Frequency antennae on the aircraft was believed to have been damaged in the incident.
However, airline officials said they do not have much information on which part of the aircraft had hit the antenna on the ground or the damage to the aircraft. Alternative arrangements were being made to take the passengers to Dubai from Mumbai, they said.
Airport officials said that operations at the airport were not affected through the ILS has been hit. Since the weather in Tiruchi is not bad, the incident would not affect operations, they said.
A senior official of the airport said investigations were on to determine the reason for the incident.
By Sowmya Sangam