Rahul Gandhi’s plane in 500 meter free fall; complaint of ‘unexplained technical failures’ filed

The plane on which Congress President Rahul Gandhi travelled from Delhi to Hubli on Thursday, April 26 experienced ‘unexplained technical failures’ during course of flight; a complaint has been filed

Rahul Gandhi’s plane in  500 meter free fall; complaint of ‘unexplained technical failures’ filed
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NH Web Desk

The plane on which Congress President Rahul Gandhi travelled from Delhi to Hubli on April 26 experienced ‘unexplained technical failures’ causing a free fall, reported ANI News on Thursday evening.

The Congress party confirmed the news.

Rahul Gandhi was taking a private flight on a small Falcon aircraft to Hubli in northern Karnataka, on his way to election meetings in Uttara Kannada district on April 26. Two-thirds of the way into the flight, the plane tilted very heavily to one side and then went into a free fall for 400 to 500 feet.

The autopilot was found not to be working and landing became extremely difficult. The plane descended twice but could not land at Hubli.

Kaushal Vidyarthee who was travelling along with Rahul Gandhi and three others on the flight, has filed a complaint with the DG and IG Karnataka, stating 'unexplained technical failures' occurred during course of flight. Vidyarthee also added that the 'shuddering and altitude dipping were not natural or weather related'. The aircraft is currently grounded at Hubli airport.


The complaint written by Vidyarthee says that:

  • Vidyarthee was travelling along with Congress President Rahul Gandhi and three others from New Delhi to Hubli, Karnataka on April 26. The special flight took off at 9.20 am from Delhi and was scheduled to land in Hubli at 11.45 am. However, during the course of the flight, unexplained technical failures ocurred
  • At around 10.45 am, the aircraft suddenly tilted heavily on the left side and the altitude dipped steeply, combined with violent shuddering of the aircraft body
  • At the time, the weather outside was sunny, normal and not windy, as per the observation of the passengers and as per the forecast for the day
  • A clanking noise was clearly audible from one side of the plane throughout the shuddering of the aircraft body
  • The autopilot of the aircraft was also not functioning
  • An attempt was made to land the aircraft at Hubli airport and it landed on the third attempt
  • The plane landed at Hubli around 11.25 am while continuously shaking and making unusual audible sounds
  • The whole flight experience left the passengers with a lot of anxiety and distress, and positively fearing for their lives
  • The crew was also apparently petrified and admitted that the flight was particularly frightening and uncommon
  • That it was apparent from the suspicious and faulty performance of the aircraft that the incidents of shuddering and altitude dipping were not natural or weather related, but were due to some technical snags of the aircraft
  • Serious questions related to intentional tampering with the aircraft cannot be brushed aside and are required to be investigated
  • That the multiple unexplained technical snags during the flight coupled with the failure of the autopilot system, raises serious issues of aviation safety and possible and intentional tampering with the aircraft which endangered the life of its occupants
  • A thorough examination of the structural and mechanical elements of the aircraft, surrounding circumstances of the flight and the persons attached with maintenance of the aircraft is required in order to assess the incident
  • It is requested that the incident be objectively and throughly investigated and the aircraft remain grounded at Hubli and not be allowed to make another flight till the investigation is complete

Congress President Rahul Gandhi's aide Kaushal K Vidyarthee has tweeted: "Thankful for being alive...never had such a frightening experience.. plane went into free fall...couldn't believe CP's composure and calmness as he stood beside pilots trying to save situation"


The Congress Party has tweeted about the “Complaint to the DG&IG of Police, Karnataka, regarding the serious malfunction of the aircraft carrying Congress President @RahulGandhi


Rahul S Ravi, another aide travelling with Rahul Gandhi on the plane, has tweeted “Never thought we would make it through what happened in the aircraft today...cant believe how brave RG is...being a pilot himself he was constantly by the side of the crew through the crisis. Respect!”


*This is a developing story and will be updated

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Published: 26 Apr 2018, 10:01 PM