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Rahul Gandhi's Flight Snag 'Not Uncommon', Will Probe Incident: DGCA

On Thursday, the Congress filed a police complaint after an aircraft carrying party president Rahul Gandhi from Delhi to Hubli in Karnataka “malfunctioned” and made a rough landing, which it said endangered the life of passengers.

News18.com

Updated:April 27, 2018, 3:16 PM IST
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Rahul Gandhi's Flight Snag 'Not Uncommon', Will Probe Incident: DGCA
File photo of Congress president Rahul Gandhi. (PTI)
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New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has come out with a statement saying that the "snag" that hit Rahul Gandhi's flight was "not uncommon" but the authorities will probe the incident.

"Li Gear Aviation Falcon 2000 aircraft VT-AVH was involved in an incident while operating flight from Delhi to Hubli. The operator reported the incident to DGCA. As per the operator report, it was a snag in the autopilot mode and the pilot shifted to manual mode and landed the aircraft safely. Autopilot failure incidents are not uncommon. For any VIP flight, DGCA investigates thoroughly. DGCA has set up a two-member committee to investigate into the cause of the incident. A report is likely in 2-3 weeks," said the statement.

On Thursday, the Congress filed a police complaint after an aircraft carrying party president Rahul Gandhi from Delhi to Hubli in Karnataka “malfunctioned” and made a rough landing, which it said endangered the life of passengers.

In a complaint made to Karnataka police chief Neelmani N Raju that has been accessed by News18, Rahul Gandhi's office stated that several “unexplained technical errors” happened during the course of the two-hour morning flight and demanded a thorough investigation.

Sources in the Congress told CNN-News18 that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had called up Gandhi to inquire about his well-being in the afternoon. Gandhi, who is on the seventh leg of campaigning in the state ahead of the Assembly election on May 12, took a chopper from Hubli to Ankola and continued with his scheduled rallies.

Raising the issue of a "possible and intentional tampering" with the aircraft, the complaint says that the plane shuddered violently, tilted to one side, dipped in altitude steeply and made cranking noises throughout. It further says that the autopilot system of the aircraft was not functioning.

Apart from Gandhi, there were three other passengers on the flight. The police complaint says that the plane landed at the Hubli airport only on its third attempt and it shook violently while it did so.

“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 of the day,” the complaint letter reads.

“The whole flight experience of the flight left the passengers with a lot of anxiety and stress, and positively fearing for their lives. The crew was also petrified and admitted that the flight was particularly frightening and uncommon,” it adds.
| Edited by: Aditya Nair
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