218 tourists travelling on Aeroflot Flight AFL 1534 had a miraculous escape on Thursday morning thanks to the presence of mind of the pilot who screeched the aircraft to a halt after noticing smoke in one of the engines.
The flight began to accelerate down the Dabolim runway after it was given the thumbs up to take off. However, the pilot Vladimir Ramanov on noticing smoke from one of the engines, applied the brakes bringing the 180 ton Boeing to a screeching halt.
Three tyres burst due to the sudden application of brakes and smoke was seen all around even as the passengers in the aircraft had some harrowing moments wondering what went wrong.
All the passengers were deplaned and the fire was brought under control.
Bird hits have increased at Dabolim airport where besides civilian aircrafts even the Navy’s MIG 29K have suffered from this menace.
The accumulated garbage just outside the airport is reportedly the cause of the bird hits as it attracts large number of birds which fly within the landing and take off funnel of the airport.
Deputy Speaker and Local MLA Mauvin Godinho had asked the government to allot land with the Verna Industrial Estate for the Chicalim and other neighbouring Panchayats to manage their garbage In a bid to curb the garbage dumping in the airport’s vicinity.
However, the government is yet to take a call on Mauvin’s proposal.