An FIR has reportedly been filed against the pilots flying the plane carrying Congress president Rahul Gandhi and his aides from New Delhi to Hubli, which "nosedived, shuddered and tilted dangerously" Thursday before noon. Hours after the Congress registered a complaint with the Karnataka's DGP, an FIR is said to have been registered at Gokul Police Station in Hubli and the complaint is likely to be sent to the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
— Congress (@INCIndia) April 26, 2018
Rahul Gandhi is an SPG protectee and was on a chartered flight VT- AVH owned by Religare Aviation limited. Rahul Gandhi is on a two-day visit to Karnataka's Uttara Kannada, Dahskina Kannada, Kodagu and Mysuru areas to campaign ahead of the state assembly elections on 12 May. News wire ANI reports the DGCA reaction to the flight snag is that it's not "uncommon". "It was snag of autopilot mode and pilot shifted to manual & landed safely. Such autopilot incidents are not uncommon. For any VIP flight, DGCA examines in detail. We shall do here also", DGCA told ANI.
Glad to be in a room and getting some rest....thankful for being alive...never had such a frightening experience in my life...plane went into free fall...couldnt believe CP's composure and calmness as he stood beside pilots trying to save the situation. — Kaushal K Vidyarthee (@vidyarthee) April 26, 2018
Never thought we would make it through what happened in the aircraft today...cant believe how brave RG is...being a pilot himself he was constantly by the side of the crew through the crisis. Respect! @vidyarthee
— Rahul S Ravi (@RahulS_Ravi) April 26, 2018
Kaushal Vidyarthee, travelling alongwith Rahul Gandhi, wrote to Karnataka DGP Neelamani Raju about 'unexplained technical failures' during the flight. 'Shuddering & altitude dipping were not natural or weather related', he said in the initial complaint which says the flight took off from New Delhi "tentatively around 9:20 am".
In the letter, Vidyarthee elaborates on the moment the aircraft lost altitude: "...At around 10:45 am the aircraft suddenly tilted heavily on the left side and the altitude dipped steeply, combined with violent shuddering of the aircraft body. It is to be stated that the weather outside was sunny, normal and not windy as per the observation of the passengers and as per the forecast for the day. A clanking noise was clearly audible from one side of the plane throughput the shuddering of the aircraft body. It was also learnt that the autopilot of the aircraft was not functioning. An attempt was made to land the aircraft at Hubli three times and it finally landed on the third attempt."
"This is serious case of aviation mechanics failure. A serious accident was averted. A formal complaint has been submitted... to inquire into entire matter including possibility of foul play which led to technical slag, failure of autopilot and failure of rudders, which is completely unprecedented," Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.
Firstpost is now on WhatsApp. For the latest analysis, commentary and news updates, sign up for our WhatsApp services. Just go to Firstpost.com/Whatsapp and hit the Subscribe button.
Updated Date: Apr 27, 2018 04:33:22 IST