Pilots blamed for near-crash of Rahul Gandhi's chartered plane in Karnataka's Hubli

'Crew initiated action only when the master cautions warning i.e after 15 seconds of autopilot disengage,' DGCA said in report.

New Delhi: Aviation regulator DGCA has pinned the blame on the pilots for the near-crash of Congress president Rahul Gandhi's chartered plane at Hubli in North Karnataka in April this year.

On April 26, the 10-seater plane carrying Rahul Gandhi suddenly tilted heavily on the left side and the altitude dipped steeply with violent shuddering of the aircraft body before landing at the Hubli airport in north Karnataka.

Besides Rahul Gandhi, there were four other passengers, two pilots, one cabin crew and one engineer when the incident took place, according to the DGCA.

Alleging "intentional tampering" with aircraft, the Congress party had demanded a probe into the "suspicious and faulty performance" of the aircraft.

In its 30-page report made public on Friday, the two-member committee set up by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to probe the incident, ruled out any prior snag in the Ligare Aviation-operated private Falcon 2000 jet, registered as VT-AVH.

"Crew initiated action only when the master cautions warning i.e after 15 seconds of autopilot disengage," the DGCA said in its report on the four-month-old incident.

Such a warning appears in the form of a red light and audio warning in the cockpit for the pilot to take action and avoid in the split second and avoid any mishap.

"Due to lack of institutional awareness, the crew actions to control of the aircraft manually were slightly delayed, the DGCA report said.

After the incident, Rahul Gandhi's close aide Kaushal Vidyarthi, who was also travelling with him, had filed a complaint with local police besides writing to the Karnataka Director General of Police expressing concern over the series of events.

Following this, civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu had ordered a detailed probe into the incident.

Subsequently, the DGCA had set up the panel, with one member each from the safety and airworthiness wings, to investigate the incident.

( Source : PTI )
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