'Very Close Shave' For 136 Passengers As Air India Plane Continues Flying After Hitting Wall

| October 12 , 2018 , 14:05 IST

In a 'very close shave' for 136 passengers and crew members on a Dubai-bound Air India flight, the plane continued to fly for 3 hours with extensive damage to its body after the plane hit a wall during its take-off from Trichy in Tamil Nadu on Thursday night.

According to reports, the pilots, unaware of the damage to the Boeing 737 aircraft said that "all systems were functioning normally" but the flight was diverted to Mumbai as a precaution, where it was discovered on Friday morning that the body of the plane was practically 'shredded'. The plane was damaged to such an extent that it may be a write-off.

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The Air India Express aircraft was hurtling down the Trichy airport runway a little after 1.30 AM on Friday at a speed of 250-290 km per hour when the wheels of the aircraft hit a wall of the Trichy airport before the plane was in the air. Two of the wheels hit the airport perimeter wall which collapsed on impact.

Soon after, the Air Traffic Control contacted the pilots to tell them that the aircraft "might have come in contact" with the airport perimeter wall.

"The pilot in command reported that the aircraft systems were operating normally," said Air India Express in a statement.

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As a precaution, the plane which had "climbed to cruising altitude" on its way to Dubai, was diverted to Mumbai and the pilots have been grounded for an investigation.

Officials found that the plane's body had tears, cracks and dents that were potentially very dangerous. Broken parts of the plane's antenna were also found at the Trichy airport, an officer said.

"The pilot in command was Captain D. Ganesh Babu, who has a flying experience on the B 737 aircraft of 3600 hours, including about 500 hours as commander. The First Officer was Captain Anurag who has an experience of about 3000 hours on the B 737," said the Air India Express statement.