SpiceJet flight rams into lamp-post at IGIA, pilot grounded

Passengers of a Delhi-Hyderabad SpiceJet flight had a narrow escape around 7.30 pm on Thursday when the aircraft's right wing hit a high light-post at IGI Airport while taxiing to the runaway for take-off.

Sources said the pilot might have veered off the guiding line when he turned the Boeing 737-800 on the taxiway to approach the runway.

Airport operator Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) said no one was injured. There were 137 passengers on board. The passengers were sent to Hyderabad in a separate plane about two hours later.

"Preliminary reports suggest that the aircraft, after clearance for departure, came out of the parking bay and veered out of the taxiway guiding line. As a result, the plane hit the post," a DIAL spokesperson said. The right wing of the aircraft and the light-post were completely damaged.

The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA)has ordered an inquiry to find out whether there was a technical snag or it was the pilot's fault.

"As a rule, the aircraft's nose wheel must always be in alignment with the central marker on the taxiway. But as the plane started moving, the nose wheel veered away from the central line. It moved eight metres towards the right of the central line and hit the pole," a senior DGCA official said.

SpiceJet said "it was a minor incident". "We are doing an internal investigation," a spokesperson said. A DGCA official said an alcohol test was conducted to check if the pilot was inebriated.

"A team has been formed to investigate the matter and the pilot has been grounded till the inquiry is over," the official said.

On a wing & a Prayer

Plane veers 8 metres off central line on taxiway

Right wing hits high light-post, damaged

Inquiry ordered

... contd.

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