Front tyres of Chennai-bound Jet Airways flight deflated after take-off roll began

The departure of a Chennai-bound Jet Airways flight from the Cochin international airport here on Thursday was delayed after the tyre of the aircraft burst. The incident also forced the closure of the airport for more than three hours.

Airport officials said the flight 9w 2730 — operated with an ATR 72-500 type aircraft — was scheduled to leave here at 12.20 p.m. with 48 passengers and four crew members on board. The plane aborted its journey after two of its front tyres were found deflated, seconds before its take-off.

“The aircraft had already started its take-off roll when the tyres burst, but the pilot could stop the flight immediately,” said one official. He added that all passengers exited safely through the main door onto the tarmac and the aircraft was taken to the isolation bay for fixing the glitch. The passengers were later accommodated in an Air India flight to Chennai.

Sources said that a loud noise was heard following which the aircraft swayed both ways. Smoke and fire emanated from the burst wheels. They also said that the flame was doused by fire tenders that rushed to the spot. The brakes had heated up excessively and had to be cooled.

However, the airport officials denied this and said the fire tenders were used as a preventive measure. No damage to the runway had been reported during inspection, they added.

10 flights delayed

Meanwhile, at least 10 domestic flights were delayed since the aircraft was stranded on the runway. Passengers crammed inside the domestic departure hall following the closure of the runway and the consequent delay in flight departures.

Most in-coming flights during the period were diverted to nearby airports. A couple of others held up their scheduled departures to here. The in-bound flights delayed following the closure included Air India 2453 from Bangalore, Jet Airways 9W401 from Mumbai, Go Air G 8 101 from Ahmedabad / Bangalore, Indigo 6E 244 from Ahmedabad / Mumbai, and Jetlite S2 241 from Delhi/Hyderabad etc. 

In addition, the departure of Jet Airways 2103 Cochin – Mumbai, Jetlite S2 255 Kochi – Delhi and Air India IC 2454 Agatti were also disrupted. The services resumed by 3.30 in the afternoon.

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