Hyderabad: The accident of tyre burst of an IndiGo ATR aircraft from Tirupati on Wednesday night had created havoc at the airport as the plane landed. The runway was closed for four hours and other flights had to bear delays at Shamshabad airport till the next day. However, as per the latest report, not just one but multiple tyres burst and the plane landed on its belly.
“Since all four main gear wheels burst on landing, the aircraft was rendered completely immobile. IndiGo team supported by Hyderabad airport officials changed two of the four tyres as per disabled aircraft recovery plan, post which the aircraft was safely towed away and operations resumed at 0222 hours on March 29,” the spokesperson for GMR Hyderabad International Airport, confirming the report, said.
“It could have been a major tragedy considering all the main landing wheels, both on the port (left side) and starboard (right side), burst. The aircraft fell right on its belly. At that speed, passengers could have been seriously injured. This is a very unusual occurrence,” TOI quoted a private airline official as saying.
YSR Congress Party legislator Roja who was among the passengers, provided a few visuals from the aircraft to some television channels. The pilot could also be heard advising passengers to be calm and assuring them that nothing serious had happened.
The airport shut down the runway. “It took longer to resume operations as IndiGo’s towing equipment wasn’t working efficiently,” another source said.
Meanwhile, the budget carrier denied the claims and said only one tyre of the aircraft had burst. “The matter has been reported to the DGCA,” said IndiGo’s spokesperson.
Aviation experts said the accident may have occurred due to the poor maintenance by IndiGo’s engineering team, which put lives of 77 people at the line. “The engineers must be more vigilant. Tyre bursts usually happen because of shoddy maintenance — physical damage or problem with brakes. It could also be due to excessive friction and high temperature,” said M Sehgal, a city-based pilot.