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Meet pilot Monica Khanna, who saved 185 lives, safely landed SpiceJet which caught fire

by Rishika Choudhury

Date & Time: Jun 21, 2022 8:00 PM

Read Time: 2 minute

On June 19, a SpiceJet flight from Patna to Delhi took off, but shortly after takeoff, it experienced a mid-air engine fire. The left engine of the Boeing 737 caught fire shortly after takeoff, forcing the plane to make an emergency landing at Patna Airport with only one engine operational.

Plane landed with one engine operating

SpiceJet's chief of flight operations, Gurcharan Arora, stated that the pilots handled the situation well. When the plane landed again, only one engine was operational. The aircraft was inspected by engineers. It was determined that a bird struck the fan blade and engine, causing damage. It has been said that DGCA will investigate further.

The flight was piloted by Captain Monica Khanna, who was the pilot-in-command of the SpiceJet Limited flight SG723. As per reports, since the flight suffered engine failure during the takeoff, it was loaded with fuel and landing a fully fuelled aircraft safely is challenging for any pilot.

Three of the fan blades had damaged

According to Spicejet, as a precautionary measure and per SOP, the Captain decided to turn off the affected engine and return to Patna. A post-flight inspection revealed that the bird had been hit and three of its fan blades had been damaged.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has launched an investigation into the incident, and officials stated that the plane (VT-SYZ) was involved in an air turnback after the cabin crew informed the PIC about sparks coming from the engine.

The cockpit crew suspected a bird hit on the engine during the rotation. Later, the crew saw no abnormalities and the flight resumed its ascent. "The flight returned after a bird strike, and due to one engine shutting down in the air, all on-board passengers were safe," officials added.

"The Delhi-bound flight had returned to Patna airport after locals noticed a fire in the aircraft and informed district and airport officials. All 185 passengers were safely deboarded. The reason is a technical glitch, engineering team analysing further," said Chandrashekhar Singh, Patna District Magistrate told media persons.

Also Read: SpiceJet will operate 37 special flights between India and Saudi Arabia for Haj pilgrims

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