Alliance Air’s ATR plane flies without engine cover; DGCA starts probe

NEW DELHI: An Alliance Air flight from Mumbai to Bhuj, carrying 70 passengers, flew without engine cover that was later retrieved from the runway at the city airport on Wednesday, prompting aviation regulator DGCA to start a probe into the incident, according to an official.

The ATR aircraft landed safely at Bhuj in Gujarat.

Alliance Air said that it has initiated a probe into the incident.

The incident happened on Wednesday morning and was brought to the notice of airport authorities by a Mumbai Air Traffic Controller (ATC). Subsequently, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) started an investigation into the incident.

“Mumbai ATC informed the airport that Alliance Air ATR aircraft, operating flight 91-625 (Mumbai-Bhuj) took off without the left engine cowling (cover),” the official said.

Later, the airline’s engineering team reached the site and retrieved the engine cover from the runway.

During the operation of Alliance Air flight 9I-625 from Mumbai to Bhuj on February 9, the panel of the engine cowl was found on the runway post take off, Alliance Air said in a statement.

“We have taken strict note of the incident and a thorough investigation has been initiated. The findings of the same shall be shared with the regulatory authorities and we shall ensure that all required corrective actions are put in place,” the government-owned airline said.

It also said that “we are grateful that all passengers and crew onboard the flight safely landed and there was no damage to the aircraft due to this unfortunate incident.

Expressing “regret” at the “unfortunate” incident, Alliance Air said, it follows laid down policies/ procedures as per the regulatory authorities.

The airline has strict checks in place both pre and post flight operations in order to ensure complete safety of its passengers and crew, Alliance Air said in the statement.

Flying without engine cowling may have an aerodynamic effect leading to marginal deterioration in the aircraft’s performance, the official said.

Besides, it could have an impact on engine components as well because of the exposure to the airflow, the official said, adding that, however, in this case, the aircraft landed safely at the destination.

According to the official, no one has been grounded so far but appropriate action will be taken after DGCA receives the preliminary report, the official added.

Source: Press Trust of India

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