New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday ruled out foul play in Congress president Rahul Gandhi’s plane snag during Karnataka Assembly polls campaign. The aviation regulator in its report pinned the blame on the pilots for the near-crash of the Congress chief’s chartered plane at Hubli in North Karnataka in April this year.
The report revealed that Congress President Rahul Gandhi survived the plane crash as the chartered plane carrying Gandhi and his aides was 20 seconds away from the crash when the aircraft developed a technical snag.
Rahul Gandhi was flying from Delhi to Hubli on 26 April when the flight had made an emergency landing. According to report, the probe showed the aircraft had developed a snag while it was on auto-pilot mode and it veered sharply to one side.
Earlier, the Congress party had filed a police complaint after an aircraft carrying party president Rahul Gandhi suffered a serious malfunction and alleged that it endangered the life of the passengers.
In the letter to the Karnataka DGP Neelmani N Raju, Vidyarthee had reportedly said that the ‘shuddering and altitude dipping was not natural or weather-related’.
“At around 10:45 am the aircraft suddenly tilted heavily on the left side and the altitude dipped steeply, combined with violent shuddering of the aircraft body. It is to be stated that the weather outside was sunny, normal and not windy as per the observation of the passengers and as per the forecast for the day. A clanking noise was clearly audible from one side of the plane throughout the shuddering of the aircraft body,” he had said in his complaint.
Claiming that the aircraft could be landed only after three attempts, he had said the landing was accompanied by unusual shaking. “The whole flight experience left the passengers with a lot of anxiety and distress, and positively fearing for their lives. The crew was also apparently petrified and admitted that the flight was particularly frightening and uncommon,” he had added.
Later, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation later offered an explanation through a tweet. “Such autopilot incidents are not uncommon. For any VIP flight, DGCA examines in detail. We shall do here also,” the DGCA had said in a tweet.