SpiceJet technician dies in freak accident at Kolkata airport

Undated photo of Rohit Virendra Pandey

Undated photo of Rohit Virendra Pandey   | Photo Credit: PTI

In a freak accident, Rohit Pandey, a SpiceJet technician, died after he got stuck in the hydraulic door flaps of the main landing gear of a Q400 aircraft he was attending at the Kolkata airport early on July 10.

The hydraulic doors “inadvertently” got closed, leaving Pandey trapped there, SpiceJet said in a statement. The landing-gear doors of the Bombardier Q400 aircraft had to be broken to rescue him but he was declared dead, it said.

The accident happened at 1.45 a.m., according to an airport official.

In a statement, SpiceJet said: “We are extremely saddened to share that our technician Mr. Rohit Pandey passed away last night in an unfortunate incident at the Kolkata airport.

“Mr. Pandey was doing maintenance work in right hand main landing gear wheel well area of a Q400 aircraft which was parked in Bay No. 32 at Kolkata airport on July 10, 2019. Inadvertently, the main landing gear hydraulic door closed and he got stuck in between the hydraulic door flaps.

“The hydraulic doors were broken to rescue Mr. Pandey but he was declared dead. The entire SpiceJet family stands together in grief in this unfortunate incident.”

Aircraft maintenance engineers The Hindu spoke to said such an accident was rare.

“I have never heard such a thing in my 26 years career. The truth will come out after proper investigation. Either he has not followed the Standard Operating Procedure or was instructed wrongly by a senior to get the work done quickly to send the aircraft. In the private sector, the pressure is too much,” a senior aircraft mantelpiece engineer said.

Each aircraft has three landing gears, two under the wings (called main landing gears) and one below the pilot's seat.

Commenting on the accident a Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official said, “We will probe as it happened in the maintenance area but investigation will take place once the police investigations are over.” Analysts said it means Air Accidents Investigation Branch of DGCA will not be probing into this case.

Another DGCA official said the accident “happened during rectification of snag,”

In the past 10 days there have been a space of accidents involving SpiceJet aircraft. On July 1, a SpiceJet Boeing 737-800 overshot Mumbai airport runway after skidding disrupting flight operations at Mumbai for three days. On July 2, a SpiceJet plane from Pune veered off at Kolkata airport while landing and damaged several runway lights. On June 30, a SpiceJet Q400 had skidded at Surat airport, but no one was injured. SpiceJet has embarked on an aggressive growth path since the closure of Jet Airways.

Pandey was the main earning member of his family of four, his former trainer said in Mumbai.

Praveen Vishwakarma, trainer at the Thakur Institute of Aviation Technology, said he was shocked by the news. Describing Pandey as a bright student, Mr. Vishwakarma told PTI that he had got the job with SpiceJet during campus selection last year.

Pandey, resident of Poisar in Kandivali, had lost his father a few years ago. He has two sisters and his mother did odd jobs as the family’s financial condition was not too good, Mr. Vishwakarma said. “He was the sole hope for his family,” he added. (With PTI inputs)

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Printable version | Apr 4, 2020 11:31:38 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/spicejet-technician-dies-in-freak-accident-at-kolkata-airport/article28339491.ece

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