AI fights the fog, untrained pilots to stay afloat

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New Delhi, Dec 26: In a rather bizarre incident, an AI flight to Delhi failed to land at the airport and decided to fly back to the source airport as the pilot declared that he was unfit to land in dense fog.

A christmas spoiler, the Air India flight disappointed its 200 passengers even when other flights landed in dense fog at the Delhi airport. Delhi airport has Category III Instrument Landing System that guides trained pilots to land even in zero visibility.

Air India

Unfortunately, this particular flight did not have a trained pilot.

All was not well since the beginning

The journey was jinxed for the passengers from the beginning. The moment they stepped into the airport to catch the 5 pm flight, they were told that there has been slight delay in it, given the weather conditions.

Surprisingly, the delay stretched to four hours. The flight took off around 9 pm, 2 hours after the scheduled time of arrival at the Delhi airport. It finally reached the Delhi airport at 11 pm, but instead of landing it headed back to Kolkata due to heavy fog.

The pilot later announced that the craft hovered over the airport for 15-20 minutes for the fog to reduce, but when it did not, he felt it was best to head back to Kolkata. He also admitted that the pilots were not trained to land in such a condition.

Ordeal at Kolkata airport

The till now 'not-so-furious' passengers flew into a temper when they saw that there was no one at the airport from the Air India Staff to receive them and that they did not have aby clue what to do next.

With the last flight off, the ground staff had retired for the night. A passenger said,"Passengers were disappointed and tired. The absence of coordination in AI worsened the situation. Even after alighting from the aircraft, we were clueless as there was no AI official around to take a call. When an executive arrived later, he wasn't in a position to take a decision."

Sensing the anger among the passengers, the Airports Authority of India domestic manager instructed the AI officials to defuse their anger and extend all the help.

The passengers were later relocated to two hotels located near the airport. While a few passengers cancelled their flights, the others waited all through the next day to fly again. The plane finally took off for Delhi around 4pm on Thursday.

With the roster in complete disarray, AI officials admitted of lack of CAT-III staff.

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