New Delhi, Aug 31, 2018 : Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s plane was just 20 seconds away from the crash, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said in its report.
Rahul Gandhi’s plane had made an emergency landing on 26th April while he was en route to Karnataka for election campaigning. The incident had happened during the landing of the flight from New Delhi at Hubballi in north Karnataka on April 27. After the plane safely landed on the runway, Rahul had cried conspiracy.
Alleging conspiracy, the Congress had registered a complaint with the Karnataka police, claiming an unexplained malfunctioning of the aircraft." Besides Gandhi, there were four other passengers, two pilots, one cabin crew and one engineer when the incident took place, according to the DGCA.
Now, a probe by civil aviation watchdog DGCA has found that on that day, Rahul made a narrow escape as his aircraft had been seconds away from a crash when the problem was detected. In its 30-page report, the DGCA ruled out any prior snag in the Ligare Aviation-operated private Falcon 2000 jet, registered as VT-AVH.
"Crew initiated action only when the master cautions warning i.E after 15 seconds of autopilot disengage," the DGCA said in its report on the four-month-old incident. Such a warning appears in the form of a red light and audio warning in the cockpit for the pilot to take action and avoid in the split second and avoid any mishap. "Due to lack of institutional awareness, the crew actions to control of the aircraft manually were slightly delayed, the DGCA report said.
The DGCA report says that the aircraft was cruising at the allocated altitude and it was on auto-pilot when it developed a snag. Due to the snag, the aircraft banked sharply the left and started losing altitude. The report added that when the pilots realised something was amiss with the auto-pilot, they switched back to manual mode.
Sources in the DGCA say the probe has revealed that had the aircraft remained out of control a few seconds longer, the aircraft could have crashed.