Millennium Post

Sky fall! Panel falls off Air India Dreamliner midair, DGCA to investigate incident

The Dreamliner ‘miraculously’ landed safely in Bangalore without the pilots realizing a thing. The gaping hole caused by the missing part — measuring 8 by 4 feet — was discovered when the plane was being prepared for the return flight to Delhi. The aviation safety regulator is investigating this incident.

The missing part was taken out of a brand new Dreamliner (VT-ANO), AI’s 9th B-787 which had landed here just days back and is awaiting certification to begin commercial flying, and taken to Bangalore. Only after this part was fitted in the aircraft grounded in Bangalore (VT-ANA) could the plane fly again after a delay of almost 10 hours. However, now the brand new ‘Christmas tree’ VT-ANO is grounded in Delhi, awaiting the part from Boeing!

AI spokesman G P Rao said: ‘The panel has since been fixed and the aircraft is in operation again. The DGCA is probing this.’ According to sources, the panel was covering the Dreamliner’s AC bay. It flew off when AI 803 was on its way to Bangalore.

This is the latest in a series of troubles hitting Boeing’s latest commercial aircraft, the Dreamliner. This January, the US aviation regulator had grounded Dreamliners globally and they resumed flying only in May after the fears caused by its battery overheating were resolved.

But even after the aircraft resumed flying, airlines have been reporting troubles with it. AI recently had oven overheating in its aircraft and then the electric systems of ovens were changed in all its B-787. AI flies this aircraft on both domestic and international routes. It flies on Delhi-Bangalore, Delhi-Chennai and Delhi-Kolkata routes apart from long-haul flights between Delhi and London, Frankfurt, Paris and Australia. AI’s turnaround banks heavily on this plane.
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