A senior SpiceJet official lauded the pilots of the airline’s Patna-Delhi flight which, on Sunday, made emergency landing at the Patna airport after one of the aircraft’s engines caught fire shortly after take-off for the national capital.
“Captain Monika Khanna and first officer Balpreet Singh Bhatia conducted themselves well during the incident. They were calm throughout, and handled the aircraft well. They are experienced officers and we’re proud of them,” news agency ANI quoted Gurcharan Arora, SpiceJet’s chief of flight operations, as saying.
Describing the incident, Arora further said, “Only a single engine was functioning when the plane landed back. Engineers inspected the aircraft, and confirmed that a fan blade and engine were damaged as a bird hit. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will probe further.’
As many as 185 passengers were onboard flight SG723, which took off for the Indira Gandhi International Airport from the Jayprakash Narayan International Airport, around 12noon. However, shortly after the take-off, the plane encountered a bird hit, which resulted in one of its engines catching fire.
The dramatic moment of the plane catching fire was recorded by onlookers from the ground. Eventually, the flight landed back safely at the Patna airport, with no injury reported to any passenger or crew member.
The flight was scheduled to reach Delhi at 1:30pm.