Alert Air India pilots save 48 lives

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Old 10-Jun-2012
Alert Air India pilots save 48 lives

Guwahati: The presence of mind of two pilots saved the lives of 48 passengers and the crew aboard a Guwahati-bound Air India plane on Sunday after it was noticed one of the aircraft’s front wheels was missing as it came in to land.

“During a pre-landing check, the ATC discovered that one of the two front wheels were missing,” an Airports Authority of India (AAI) source said.

“The pilots were immediately informed and an emergency was declared at Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International (LGBI) Airport.”

The ATR flight from Silchar was being flown by two women, Urmila Yadav and co-pilot Yashu.

They kept the aircraft circling for more than two hours over the airport to burn off fuel while preparations were being made for an emergency landing, the source said.

“In such a situation, the remaining fuel is always burnt off to lighten the aircraft and prevent a fatal accident while landing,” the source said.

Although panic gripped the passengers after they were told what was happening, the plane landed safely, an AAI official said.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi congratulated the pilots over the phone for their courage.

The aircraft lost its front wheel during take off, a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office here said.

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