Mangaluru, Mar 15, 2018: In a development that might have surely sent panic among air passengers, smoke was seen billowing from the engine of a Spice Jet flight which was about to take off from Mangalore International Airport to Hyderabad on March 14, Wednesday. All the 31 passengers were immediately disembarked from the plane as a precautionary measure.
However, Spice Jet officials said the problem arose due to a technical snag and that the passengers were sent by other flights. After pushback, a technical issue was noticed in the aircraft and as a precautionary measure the aircraft went back to the bay. News reports stating that there was a fire in the aircraft are factually incorrect and baseless. Nothing of this sort happened. No fire brigade had been called to the spot as stated by some news reports nor was any emergency declared. The aircraft is parked at Mangalore Airport and is in a perfectly normal condition.
All passengers were deplaned safely after the technical issue was noticed and offered alternate flights for Hyderabad which included a flight via Mumbai, a flight via Bengaluru, the evening direct flight and a flight on the next day. Some passengers who did not want to travel were offered a full refund. It is really unfortunate that some news organizations have tried to sensationalize and twist the incident and create a safety scare, were none exists.
This is the third such incident in the recent times. In September last year, an Air India flight on way to Doha with 173 passengers had to return within half an hour of take off following a failure of one of its engines.