Tuesday, March 08, 2022

Explained: All about mid-air turbulence faced by Mamata Banerjee’s aircraft

Kolkata: The West Bengal government last week ordered a probe after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s chartered flight experienced mid-air turbulence.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said Banerjee’s aircraft ran into turbulence as it hit a deep air-pocket. However, the state government and the Trinamool Congress rebuffed the report, claiming there was a goof-up and that the pilot’s action averted an accident.

On March 4, Banerjee was returning to Kolkata from Lucknow after an election campaign. She boarded a chartered flight but faced air turbulence just before landing at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International airport. The Chief Minister hurt her back during the turbulence and doctors advised her to take rest.

However, Kolkata International Airport authority sources informed that no one was injured in the incident and the pilot managed to land safely.

On Saturday, West Bengal Home Secretary BP Gopalika sought a reply from DGCA over the cause of turbulence. According to sources, the state government has ordered a probe, led by aviation expert and advisor to the state government on aviation, Captain Siddharth.

Meanwhile, TMC’s mouthpiece ‘Jago Bangla’, in an editorial, expressed concern over the incident and asked why the chief minister was repeatedly facing such incidents during air travel.

During a media briefing, Banerjee said, “Plane escaped collision due to pilot’s efficiency. The plane climbed down 8,000 ft when another plane came in front of my aircraft suddenly. Not received any report from ATC & DGCA so far.”

08/03/22 Atri Mitra/Indian Express

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