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Bat found on Air India flight! Plane returns midway to Delhi's IGI airport

Bat found on Air India flight! Plane returns midway to Delhi's IGI airport

The Air India flight had left's Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) at 2:20 am on Thursday. Crew members aboard the aircraft spotted the bat about half an hour after the flight had taken off

The stranded passengers did not have to wait for long as they were soon shifted to another Air India plane The stranded passengers did not have to wait for long as they were soon shifted to another Air India plane

An Air India flight from Delhi to Newark, US, had to to return midway on Thursday after the pilot reported to the Air Traffic Control (ATC) the presence of a bat onboard the aircraft.

The Air India flight had left's Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGI) at 2:20 am on Thursday. Crew members aboard the aircraft spotted the bat about half an hour after the flight had taken off. The Air India pilot decided to take the Newark-bound flight back to the IGI Airport.

"AI-105 DEL-EWR returned to Delhi after departure after this local standby emergency was declared. On arrival, it was learnt that crew members saw a bat inside the cabin. Wildlife staff were called to catch and take away the bat. The aircraft landed safely at around 3:55 am, and later it was declared Aircraft on Grounded (AoG),"  the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) officials told news agency ANI.

The only casualty in the incident was the bat that had started it. After complete fumigation, the bat's carcass was retrieved from the aircraft.

"Air India B777-300ER aircraft VT-ALM operating Flight AI - 105 (Delhi- Newark) was involved in air-turn-back due to bat reported in the cabin by cabin crew after departure. Fuel was jettisoned and the aircraft landed safely at Delhi," a senior DGCA official said.

"The bat was found dead inside the plane in the business class area," they added.

Air India's flight safety department is expected to carry out a detailed investigation into this incident. However, Air India's engineering team has stated in its initial report on the incident that the unwanted mammal came from third parties.

"The probable reason/cause may be loading vehicles like those for catering because all the time rats/bats come from their vehicle," an Air India official said.

The stranded passengers did not have to wait for long as they were soon shifted to another Air India plane. Air India Flight AI-105 landed in Newark at 11:35 am local time.

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Published on: May 28, 2021, 8:34 PM IST
Posted by: Mohammad Haarisbeg, May 28, 2021, 8:34 PM IST