The technical snag that apparently cropped up in Rahul Gandhi’s chartered aircraft must be examined thoroughly by the DGCA.
The technical snag that apparently cropped up in Rahul Gandhi’s chartered aircraft must be examined thoroughly by the DGCA. It appears from the flight description by one of Mr Gandhi’s aides that there was reason for passengers to feel uncomfortable as the Dassault Falcon 20-seater jet with transcontinental range made a third attempt to land at Hubbali on its journey from New Delhi. It seems pilot error may be responsible as he flew above the prescribed altitude for a plane of that size, and lost radar contact for three minutes or so. A problem was also reported with the autopilot, and the pilot may have struggled to take over the controls and in landing the plane, which he did with a bad bump.
While Rahul’s three aides may have had a bad flight along with their boss, the sabotage cry raised by the Congress may seem a tad exaggerated as they were speaking even before any kind of inquiry could be held into the flight, and a thorough examination of its black box and other data. Given the circumstances of an approaching election, the airing of conspiracy theories may have been a political move. But even so, it is the aviation regulator’s duty to ascertain if any of the reasons to suspect sabotage is credible enough to investigate in depth. Fliers the world over know that travelling in aircraft smaller than big intercontinental jets brings with it a feeling of a slightly higher element of risk. It’s a hazard they choose to face. But modern aviation has become safe enough to engender the hope that most risks have been eliminated.