‘Bat’ in Business class, Air India Flight Forced To Land

In an uncommon incident, an Air India flight that took off from Delhi airport to Newark early on Thursday had compelled to return after the pilot saw a ‘bat’ to Air Traffic Control (ATC). Before landing, the aircraft had to circle in the air for about two hours, the reports said. The bat was found dead inside the plane in the business class area.

Air India flight from Delhi to Newark took off at IGI Airport at 2:20 am as scheduled. Soon after taking off, the pilot caught the bat’s presence which was on the plane for about 30 minutes. The flight captain decided to take the plane back to the original base (Delhi).

“AI-105 DEL-EWR returned back to base (Delhi) after departure due to this local standby emergency was declared. On arrival, it was learnt that a bat was seen inside the cabin by crew members. Wildlife staff were called to catch and remove the bat from the cabin. The aircraft landed safely at around 3:55 am. Later flight was declared Aircraft on Grounded (AoG),” Air India officials told.

DGCA officials said fumigation was carried out (disinfecting and purifying the place with fumes of chemicals) and bat carcass was retrieved from the aircraft. A senior official told “Air India B777-300ER aircraft VT-ALM operating Flight AI – 105 (Delhi- Newark) was involved in air-turn-back due to bat reported in the cabin by cabin crew after departure. Fuel was jettisoned and the aircraft landed safely at Delhi. After landing, fumigation was carried out and a dead bat carcass was retrieved from seat 8DEF area”.

Soon after, the passengers were shifted to another plane and Air India flight AI-105 landed in Newark at 11:35 am local time. Currently, the airline’s flight safety department is carrying out a detailed investigation. The airline has asked the engineering team for a detailed report on the incident. “The unwanted mammals came from third parties” quoted the airline engineering team in its initial reports. “The probable cause may be loading vehicles like those for catering because all the time rats/bats come from their vehicle only,” an Air India official told.

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