The aircraft VT-KNB belongs to the Delhi-based company Forum 1 Aviati-on Private Limited.
New Delhi: A chartered flight with Congress president Rahul Gandhi on board and which was en route to Patna was forced to return to Delhi on Friday due to a technical snag, prompting aviation regulator the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to launch a probe into the matter.
Mr Gandhi wrote on Twitter that the plane returned after experiencing “engine trouble” and also posted a video of the flight which shows him, the pilot and the co-pilot in the plane. “Engine trouble on our flight to Patna today! We’ve been forced to return to Delhi,” Mr Gandhi tweeted.
“Today’s meetings in Samastipur (Bihar), Bala-sore (Orissa) & Sangamn-er (Maharashtra) will run late. Apologies for the inconvenience,” he said.
A senior DGCA official said the Hawker 850 XP aircraft VT-KNB returned to Delhi due to a technical snag and that an investigation has been initiated.
The aircraft landed safely in Delhi at 10.20 am. Ten people, including two crew members, were on board when the incident occur-red, the official said.
The aircraft VT-KNB bel-ongs to the Delhi-based company Forum 1 Aviati-on Private Limited.
According to the firm’s website, the plane was acquired “brand new in 2006” and it can fly anywhere in India. The Hawker 850 XP typically has a configuration of two seats for pilots and eight for passengers.
Mr Gandhi is on a campaign trail, crisscrossing the length and breadth of the country for the polls. This is not the first time that his plane has experienced trouble mid-air.
On April 26 last year, a plane carrying the leader and some others from Delhi to Hubballi airport in Karnataka for campaigning for Assembly polls developed a technical problem and tilted heavily on the left side.
The plane dipped steeply with violent shuddering, but soon recovered and landed safely.
The DGCA had come out with its 30-page report on that incident in which it pinned the blame on the pilots for the near-crash of the Congress president’s chartered plane.
After the incident, Mr Gandhi had expressed his desire to go on the Mansarovar Yatra, which he undertook later that year.
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