Averting a major mishap, the pilot of a Vijayawada to Vizag Indigo flight aborted the landing and returned the flight, back to Vijayawada, on Friday evening. At the last minute, he took the plane back up from a few feet above the runway.
Reportedly, the Vizag bound Indigo flight was to land at 4:30 pm. Recognising that the ATR aircraft was vibrating due to high-wind speeds, caused by the effects of Cyclone Jawad, the pilot took the decision of not landing at Visakhapatnam International Airport.
On this incident, Visakhapatnam International Airport Director, K Srinivasa Rao, told the media that it was a wise decision, on the part of the pilot, to not land the flight during bad weather conditions. “The Vijayawada – Vizag Indigo pilot reported unstable weather conditions and decided to take the flight back. Had he landed, there could have been a major disaster.”
Incidentally, Mr Rao was previously the Director of Calicut Airport and recollects a similar incident. On 7 August, 2020, an Air India Express faced a similar situation. The pilots after going back twice, took the decision and risked landing the flight at the Calicut Airport leading to a massive disaster. The flight skidded off the runway and plunged into a gorge in Calicut Airport. This incident led to the death of 21 passengers including two pilots.
It could be noted that recently, following the impact of Cyclone Gulab, a continuous downpour left major parts of the Visakhapatnam International Airport submerged underwater. Water was all over the parking area and the road between the National Highway and the airport. The Visakhapatnam International Airport authorities immediately jumped into action and ensured pumps were used to drain excess water.