Saturday, January 05, 2013

Tire burst on Russian plane

MUMBAI: An emergency was declared at the airport on Saturday after smoke and fire started emanating from a Russian cargo aircraft just after it landed on the main runway.

According to airport officials, at 12.43pm, an MIAL airside team spotted smoke billowing out of the undercarriage of the Russian charter cargo aircraft, AN 74; it also caught a small fire. The team informed the ATC. "It was found that the tire on the starboard had burst," said an MIAL spokesperson. Starboard tires are located on the right side of a plane.

Even as the ATC asked the pilot to switch off the engines, emergency was declared at the airport and fire engines were called to the runway. Officials said the situation came under control once the engines were turned off.

"The friction between the tire and the surface caused smoke and sparks," said an airport official.

Airport officials said the smoke initially created a major panic. "Everyone thought the aircraft had caught fire and it was a massive emergency. Timely detection and coordinated response helped in keeping the scene under control," said a senior airport official.

With its tires damaged, the aircraft was stranded on taxiway N7. The main runway, which was being used at that time, had to be closed. Officials said this led to a delay of 15-20 minutes, while all flights had to be routed towards the secondary runway. There was no disruption in operations, they said. adding that the main runway was closed for three hours.

At 3.43pm, the aircraft was towed to the bay. after its tires were replaced.

"After that, the runway was activated," for all incoming and outgoing flights. The aircraft was towed to stand 40. No airport operations were affected due to this," an MIAL spokesperson added.


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