Delayed action by the flight crew led to “near crash” of a chartered plane carrying Congress president Rahul Gandhi from New Delhi to Hubli during Karnataka Assembly elections in April 2018, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said in a statement on Friday.
On April 26, a plane carrying Gandhi from Delhi to Hubli in north Karnataka for election campaigning had developed a technical snag and nosedived 8000 feet. The Congress party had alleged intentional tempering and filed an FIR against the pilots, demanding a probe into the matter.
“Serious questions related to intentional tampering with the aircraft cannot also be brushed aside and are required to be addressed and investigated,” Gandhi’s aide Kailash Vidyarthee had said.
On this, the DGCA had formed a two-member committee to investigate the incident. On Friday, the aviation regulator released the 30-page report prepared by the committee.
In the report, the DGCA ruled out any prior technical snag in the private Falcon 2000 jet, operated by the Ligare Aviation and said, “Crew initiated action only when the master cautions warning i.e after 15 seconds of autopilot disengage.”
Providing further details about the incident, the DGCA said that in case of any snag a warning appears in the cockpit for the pilots to act and avoid the crash. However, the aviation regulator said, “Due to lack of institutional awareness, the crew actions to control of the aircraft manually were slightly delayed.”