A major aircraft accident was averted on Monday night after an ATR 72 -500 aircraft operated by TruJet made a rough landing on its belly following a landing gear issue at the Chennai international airport.
The incident took place after the ATR 72 -500 aircraft was diverted to Chennai from its original route of Belagavi to Mysuru following a missed approach. The aircraft was operating a flight under the Regional Connectivity Scheme-UDAN (RCS-UDAN) mission.
Aviation safety regulator, Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has initiated an inquiry into the incident. Arun Kumar, director general of DGCA, said: “No injuries have been reported and the cause of the incident will be known once the investigation gets over.”
Officials at the Chennai airport said the incident took place when the diverted flight made an emergency landing in Chennai. “The flight was diverted to Chennai due to technical reasons,” an airport official was quoted by The Hindustan Times as saying.
There were 46 passengers on onboard including one infant and five crew members. While the passengers and crew members were safely evacuated, main runway 07-25 was unavailable for flight operations for around 45 minutes. This led to flight diversions and delay.
There was a blockage in the main runway of the Chennai Airport on Monday at 8.50 p.m. as an emergency was declared for Truejet flight No. 2T-543 (ATR 72 -500 aircraft) flying on the Belgaum-Mysore sector. It was diverted to Chennai due to landing gear issue.
The aircraft landed in Chennai at 9.08 p.m. It could not taxi off its own and stopped on the main runway.
“A TruJet aircraft (ATR-72) operating as 2T 543 is an ex-Jet Airways aircraft. It was operating from Belgaum and was on approach to Mysore. It, however, missed the approach and the pilot decided to divert to Chennai. It is suspected to be a landing gear issue due to which the aircraft made a hard landing at Chennai.”
The Hindustan Times reported Snehamoy Deb, an aviation geek, having, tweeted, “Pilot suspected landing gear issue got indication, made a low pass and declared emergency, after landing gear touched fuselage and veered on edge but didn’t leave the runway. Pax safely evacuated and the aircraft was towed back.”
A PIB release on behalf of the Airports Authority of India, Chennai said safe passenger offloading was undertaken on the runway itself and after this the aircraft was towed to parking bay.
Due to non-availability of main runway, the secondary runway was put into operation. Nine flights operated from secondary runway (arrival- 5/departure- 4). The main runway was handed over for operations at 2209 hrs. However due to runway blockage, wide-body aircraft SQ 8028 (B787) was diverted to Bangalore at 9.50 p.m.
The airport emergency response team (airport fire services/operations) was deployed to avert any incident and were swift to act upon touchdown of the aircraft, the release said.
Trujet was established in July 2015 by Turbo Megha Airways. The carrier operates a route network including Tirupati, Hyderabad, Aurangabad, Vijayawada, Rajahmundry, Mysuru, Belagavi, Ahmedabad, Mumbai etc.