An Air India flight AI-541 from Tirupati to New Delhi via Hyderabad suffered damages after “foreign objects” from the runway hit the underside and wings of the flight during take-off. While the underside just suffered scratches, the wings suffered heavy damage. However, the flight safely landed in Hyderabad and there were no casualties. The incident took place on Tuesday.
In Hyderabad the officials noticed the damage and alerted their counterparts in Tirupati following which the officials issued NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) which is a written notification issued to pilots before the flight takes off, concerning the hazards both in air and ground.
Following the alert from Hyderabad, authorities closed down the runway at Tirupati airport temporarily for three hours for maintenance, and all the flights to and from Tirupati were delayed.
Speaking to TNM, spokesperson from Tirupati Airport said, “An investigation has been initiated into the incident.” He also said that at the end of runway the concrete were loose, which could have hit the flight.
“There were no diversions, only flights were delayed. All the passengers landed safely. We had repaired the runway within three hours, and the flights started coming after 7 pm, and the services were normal” he added. Officials had to remove the debris, fill the potholes with tar and carpet the runway before it could be operational again.
There were cracks in the runway after the Air India flight left. According to him, the thrusts from the flights caused the damages to runway. The flight had reached Tirupati at 1.20 pm and took off to Hyderabad around 2.40 pm due to bad weather conditions. It was a four-engine flight with a passenger capacity of 300.
Due to the incident, at least seven flights, both incoming and outgoing had to be delayed. From Hyderabad three flights were delayed, an official said.