Mumbai: Engine failure on takeoff shuts foremost runway for 30 minutes

MUMBAI: The of was shut down for about 30 minutes in the wee hours of Sunday after a aircraft suffered an on takeoff. The pilots were forced to abort the roll and with the aircraft stranded on the operational runway it was closed for flight operations which forced a Lufthansa flight to divert to Hyderabad, while an IndiGo aircraft did a go-around to eventually land in Mumbai.
The incident took place at 1.04am when a Swiss International Airlines’ Airbus 330-343 aircraft operating Mumbai-Zurich flight LX-155 with with 236 passengers on board was on the takeoff roll on main runway 27. “The left-hand engine stalled seconds into the takeoff roll. The aircraft must have been below the takeoff decision speed since the pilots opted to reject the takeoff. Else, they would have continued with the takeoff, only to return and land in Mumbai as soon as possible,” said a source.

A twin-engine aircraft can safely execute a takeoff and climb with one engine. “The aircraft came to a halt on the runway. No smoke was seen from the affected engine, but because of the hard-braking action, the aircraft wheel assembly had to be cooled down,” an official said.

The main runway 27 was shut for flight operations as crash fire tenders took over. “The aircraft wheel assembly was sprayed with water,” added the source. “The flight had to be cancelled and the passengers were provided with hotel accommodations and were rebooked on the first available flight connection to their final destination,” said a statement issued by Swissair.

Flight operations were moved to 14 around 1.20am. An IndiGo aircraft, which was on final approach to land, was forced to go-around and a Lufthansa Boeing 747-800 was diverted to Hyderabad. The main runway was handed over to the air traffic control around 1.45 am, but flight operations continued on the secondary runway till about 2.05am. An MIAL spokesperson confirmed the incident.

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