BJP leaders took risk of flying together, pilot was alert
The leadership ignored the basic rule of the corporate world - the top leadership never flies together, at least in one transport vehicle. This precaution is necessary to ensure that all top leaders are not at risk at one given time, and location. However, all the passengers on-board the a nine-seater aircraft are safe.
BJP general secretary Dharmendra Pradhan and joint general secretary (Organisation) V Satish were also on-board the aircraft when the incident took place.
The aircraft was on a long journey. The BJP leaders were flying to Bangalore to address an election rally. Nine minutes into the flight, the pilot detected the problem in aircraft's auto-pilot system and immediately sought ATC's permission to land under emergency conditions.
Flight distance from Delhi to Bangalore is 1,738 kilometers or 938 nautical miles.
The turbine powered Bombardier's Challenger jet is owned by a Mumbai-based company Eon Aviation with the call sign of VT-DBG.
While the politicians overlooked the rules of flying and caution normally followed by the corporate world, the pilot took the correct action of landing the aircraft after the problem was detected.
What is autopilot?
The autopilot is very crucial, especially in a long flight. The autopilot provides relief to pilots during tedious stages of flight, such as high-altitude cruising. Advanced autopilots are capable of highly precise manoeuvres like landing an aircraft in zero visibility conditions.
The autopilot is more accurately described as the automatic flight control system (AFCS). An AFCS is part of an aircraft's avionics -- the electronic systems, equipment and devices used to control key systems of the plane and its flight. In addition to flight control systems, avionics include electronics for communications, navigation, collision avoidance and weather.
Modern autopilots get data from a Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver installed on the aircraft. A GPS receiver determines a plane's position in space by calculating its distance from three or more satellites in the GPS network. With this information, an autopilot can do more than keep a plane straight and level -- it can execute a flight plan.
In simple terms, the autopilot of an aircraft is like 'cruise control' in high-end cars. Cruise control automatically regulates the speed of the vehicle by using a feedback loop that involves a speed sensor and the car's accelerator.
The comfort of Challenger
The Eon Aviation's Challenger is a business jet and has a flying range of 5,500 kms at a cruising speed of 800 kms.
The luxurious nine passenger cabin has six single seats and a three place divan.
The jet has amenities like a galley, entertainment center, video monitors, flight phone, internet, teleconferencing and facsimile facility.
Apart from these there are six LCD Plug-in monitors, 2 DVD/CD players, surround sound speaker system, LED reading and table lighting, multi-region TV system, high speed broadband access, touchscreen cabin management system, electric wndow shades, microwave oven and a coffee maker.