AI plane loses nose wheel, woman pilot lands safely in emergency conditions

Fifty-two passengers and crew on an Air India plane had a narrow escape on Sunday when the alert woman pilot showed courage and landed the turboprop aircraft safely under emergency conditions at Guwahati airport after one of its nose wheels fell down during takeoff from Silchar.

All the 52 people - 48 passengers and four crew members- on ATR 9760 flight are safe, Air India sources said. Sources said the plane lost one of the nose wheels during take off from Silchar airport, 235 kms from here, this morning.

The pilot Captain Urmila, however, flew the plane to Guwahati which has better landing facilities and the aircraft landed under emergency conditions at the Lokopriyo Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport here.

The plane was also reported to have hovered over Guwahati airport for some time to burn the fuel in the tank to reduce the chances of it catching fire during landing under emergency conditions. Civil Aviation Regulator DGCA has ordered a probe into the incident.

"A senior official Sanit Kumar, Deputy Director, Air Safety, is rushing there to probe into the incident," Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) E K Bharatbhushan said.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi congratulated Captain Urmila and co-pilot Yashu for saving the lives of the 52 people. Gogoi spoke to Urmila over phone and conveyed his gratitude to her and the co-pilot for showing alacrity, courage and dexterity by landing the flight safely.

"Hats off to you and your co-pilot for your daring and courageous act which saved the precious lives of the passengers," he said.

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