Three days after 180 passengers on board GoAir flight G8-811D from Nagpur to Bengaluru experienced a close shave with disaster, fresh details about the incident have emerged. According to a Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) note accessed by NDTV, the plane - an Airbus A320 - not only touched down on a grassy and muddy strip to the left of the runway at Bengaluru but one of its engines stalled as it managed to climb out. With only one fully operational engine, the GoAir plane was then diverted to Hyderabad airport, which was more than 500 kilometres away.
The DGCA note says the pilot reduced engine power to idle after the affected engine stalled a second time before safely landing in Hyderabad.
"We were informed (via an in-flight message) that the weather in Bengaluru was pleasant... nothing about fogs or rain. when we came down to land it was extremely bouncy. then the plane pulled up sharply and we were back in the air," Shafeeq Hamza, one of the passengers on board, told NDTV.
Yes the flight missed the runway but it didn't land there ... The pilot saved us by taking off and ultimately landing in Hyderabad. I was on that flight. pic.twitter.com/u8ha2HVX1k— Shafeeq Hamza (@shamza) November 14, 2019
"The pilot then announced he wasn't comfortable landing because of the fog. I thought something must have happened to the runway... never guessed we were on the mud. we weren't scared, possibly because at the time nobody knew what was happening," he added.
On safely landing at Hyderabad, deposits of mud were observed on the left main landing gear, confirming the crew's report the plane had touched down on a grassy surface at Bengaluru.
The Airbus A320 and its pilots have been grounded pending a more detailed investigation, which will include analysis of data gathered from flight recorders. The pilots were summoned for a meeting with DGCA officials this morning and have, for now, been suspended from active duty.
In a statement released on Thursday, GoAir confirmed the incident and added that passengers and crew were safe.
"On Monday 11th November 2019, GoAir flight G8 811 from Nagpur to Bengaluru had carried out go around at Bengaluru and diverted to Hyderabad. All the passengers, crew and aircraft landed safely at Hyderabad," the statement read.