Pilots Monika Khanna, Baljeet Bhatia hailed as heroes in SpiceJet fire case
The Delhi-bound SpiceJet flight carrying 185 passengers, 4 crew members and 2 pilots suffered a bird hit soon after taking off from the Patna airport at 12.03 p.m. on Sunday
The safe emergency landing of SpiceJet flight (SG-723) at the Patna airport was possible due to the cool and calm efforts of its woman pilot Monika Khanna and co-pilot Bajeet Singh Bhatia. Both the pilots have emerged as heroes and the director of the airline lauded their efforts.
The Delhi-bound SpiceJet flight carrying 185 passengers, 4 crew members and 2 pilots suffered a bird hit soon after taking off from the Patna airport at 12.03 p.m. on Sunday.
The left engine was damaged. Sensing trouble, the air hostess immediately used a code word 'pan-pan' to inform pilots in the cockpit. In the meantime, the flight crossed Phulwarisharif and was flying over the Khagaul locality in Danapur when five to six sparks in the left engine followed by smoke was noticed.
The plane reached the height of 2000 feet. The pilot immediately called ATC for the emergency landing. As the smoke was coming from the left wing, the onlookers also informed the local police which further communicated to the ATC. Monika Khanna immediately switched off the left engine to control the plane and managed to land the plane safely at 12.23 pm.
Both the pilot and co-pilot played crucial roles in the emergency landing with extreme patience and cool head.
Anchal Prakash, the director of Jay Prakash Narayan Patna airport said: "The left engine of the spice jet flight SG-723 was damaged and caught fire due to bird hitting. The safe emergency landing was possible due to the sensible and cool headed approach of both the pilots. After the direction of DGCA, a probe is currently on and a technical team is inspecting the aircraft."
Gurucharan Arora, flight director of Spice Jet said: "Both Monika Khanna and Baljeet Singh Bhatia are experienced pilots and they performed their duty very well and in the right manner. They did not panic and landed the plane safely."