Indian Air Force's AN-32 aircraft overshoots runway at Mumbai airport, several flights delayed

New Delhi, Agencies | Updated : 08 May 2019, 12:22 PM

An Indian Air Force (IAF) aircraft overshot the main runway while departing from the Mumbai airport on Tuesday night, an official said. Due to the incident, aircraft movement was diverted to the secondary runway, the official of the Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) said on Wednesday. "We confirm that an Air Force aircraft departing from the Mumbai airport had runway excursion at 11.39 pm on Tuesday," the official said. Further details are awaited.

The city-based Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, the country's second busiest airport after New Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport, has two crossing runways -- 0927 (the main runway) and 1432 (the secondary runway) which together handle a little over 1,000 arrivals and departures per day. A large part of the operations is carried out from the main runway.

Earlier this year, in a significant move, the Indian Air Force flew AN-32 aircraft on January 26 with a blend of bio-jet fuel.

The use of indigenously produced bio-fuel for military aircraft was cleared after months of exhaustive ground and flight trials. The clearance was a major step for continued testing and eventual full certification of the bio-jet fuel for use on a commercial scale by civil aircraft. In a meeting on Tuesday, the CEMILAC deliberated in detail the results of various checks and tests conducted on bio-jet fuel as per procedure recommended by top national and international certification agencies, the official had said.

The bio-jet fuel has been produced from seeds of Jatropha plant sourced from Chhattisgarh. "Increased demand of bio-jet fuel would give impetus to increase in collection of tree-borne non-edible oil seeds, which, in turn, will help generate ancillary income, increase remuneration for tribal and marginal farmers, and enthuse cultivation/ collection of oilseeds," said the ministry. 

The workhorse of the Indian Air Force, AN-32 fleet has seen several disasters in the past. Since the induction of the AN-32 into the Indian Air Force in the mid 1980s, the plane has been involved in a number of accidents. In 2016, the AN-32 transport aircraft went missing with 29 people on board, during a routine weekly flight from Chennai to Port Blair. A massive search and rescue operation was launched in the Bay of Bengal to locate the plane, but investigations suggested that the plane abruptly turned and plunged from 23,000 feet, approximately 280-km out at sea from Chennai.

First Published: Wednesday, May 08, 2019 12:21 PM
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