One flight cancelled another diverted as authorities take over two hours to clear runway
Industrialist and Member of Parliament Naveen Jindal had a narrow escape on Monday when the helicopter he was travelling in developed a technical snag and had to make an emergency landing at the Chandigarh Airport. The incident resulted in the cancellation of one commercial flight, in which Bollywood actress Kareena Kapoor was flying, as the runway could not be cleared till late evening.
Jindal was on his way from Kurukshetra to Chandigarh with two other people on board a six-seater EC 145 when it had to make an emergency landing around 5.30 pm after one of the engines reportedly stopped functioning.
The chopper touched down in the centre of the main runway and could not be taxied off as it does not have wheels. Temporary wheels were arranged from the Punjab hangar, but could not be fixed as they belonged to an EC 135. An SOS was sent to Pinjore flying club, which was able to provide the proper wheels. Authorities were able to remove the helicopter from the runway by 7.35 pm.
A Jet lite flight from Chandigarh to Banglore via Delhi was cancelled while Go Air flight from Mumbai to Chandigarh was unable to land and diverted back.
Till the filing of this report, local airforce authorities were continuing there damage inspection and had not given the go ahead for use of the runway. Sources said that on Tuesday, a team from DGCA will inspect the landing site and inquire into the incident.