Monday, March 22, 2021

Air India ATR Damaged After Suffering Bird Strike

An Air India Regional ATR-72 operated by Alliance Air experienced a bird strike during its descent to Dharamsala/Kangra Airport. Flying from Chandigarh, the incident took place on March 20th with a photo of the aircraft showing damage to the wing, close to the fuselage. While damage indicates a large bird and significant impact, the aircraft landed safely, delivering 45 passengers to their destination.

It appears that flight 9I714 was a fairly routine trip for most of the 28 minutes of flight time. The ATR 72-600 departed from Chandigarh (IXC) at 13:26 for Dharamsala (DHM) – also known as Kangra Airport.

However, during the aircraft’s descent to Dharamsala, it experienced a major bird strike. The Twitter post by JADEC notes that the bird involved was possibly a raptor – a bird of prey. These birds can get quite large and have a broad wingspan.

Thankfully, the aircraft performed a safe landing with the 45 passengers it had onboard. The turboprop even arrived 30 minutes ahead of schedule, at 13:54 local time.

The aircraft involved was an ATR 72-600 with registration VT-RKM. This three-year-old turboprop was operated by Alliance Air, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Air India, founded in 1996. notes that this particular ATR 72-600 is configured to seat 70 passengers in an all-economy layout. With manufacturer serial number (MSN) 1463, it appears that the aircraft has only ever flown with Alliance Air since it emerged from ATR facilities in Toulouse, France.

As for Alliance Air as a whole, it has a total of 19 aircraft in its fleet. Nearly all of these are ATR 72 turboprops ranging between three and six years old. Only a single 26-year-old ATR 42 is listed in this fleet.

22/03/21 Chris Loh/Simple Flying

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