Air India Team Pulls Back Stuck SpiceJet Plane That Overshot Due to Heavy Rains
A dedicated team of Air India engineers and technicians, aided by a disabled aircraft recovery kit (DRAK) was working on to remove the aircraft from the spot since Tuesday afternoon.
A SpiceJet Boeing 737-800 airplane is seen after it overshot the runway while landing due to heavy rains at an airport in Mumbai. (Image: Reuters)
The Boeing 737 plane of SpiceJet that has been partially stuck on the runway and the nearby grassy area at the city airport since Monday night, has been pulled back from the spot, but has not yet been brought back to the runway, a source said. Following this, the main runway of the nation's second-busiest airport is shut since Monday mid-night, severely impacting operations leaving 75 cancellations Wednesday alone. The city airport has only one main runway, making the situation all the more complicated.
A dedicated team of Air India engineers and technicians, aided by a disabled aircraft recovery kit (DRAK) was working on to remove the aircraft from the spot since Tuesday afternoon. A SpiceJet flight from Jaipur carrying 167 passengers and the crew overshot the runway Monday night after landing amid heavy rains, leaving the plane stuck partially on the main runway (09x27). This forced the airport operator to shut operations at the main runway and shift the operations to the secondary runway (14/32). "The Air India team has successfully removed the plane from where it was stuck. Now, taking it to the runway and subsequently to the hanger is the responsibility of the airport," a senior Air India official said.
When contacted, an airport spokesperson did not share a specific timeline for completing the recovery process. The airport had prepared a 150-metre long ramp to push the aircraft out of the grassy area. The kit, used to remove a stuck aircraft, is available only with Air India and had arrived from Mangalore airport after rescuing the Air India Express B737 plane, which veered off the taxiway onto the grass Sunday.
The Mumbai airport has two runways and the second one can handle only up to 35 aircraft movements an hour while the main runway can handle 48 plane movements. The city's airport is the second busiest in the country, handling around 1,000 arrivals and departures per day, making it the busiest single-runway airport in the world. The Delhi airport is the busiest handling around 1,300 movements per day on its three main runways.
"A total of 75 flights were cancelled till late this evening. While 40 arrivals were cancelled by various operators, 35 departures were also cancelled," an airport official said earlier in the day. As many 203 flights were cancelled Tuesday due to inclement weather and partial airport closure.
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