An Air India flight Monday from L.A. to Delhi turned into a comedy of errors which delayed the passengers by two whole days (thanks, Saheli). First day, a tire blew out on takeoff:
As the plane took off, Gursharan said, it shook after a tire burst, startling passengers. The Boeing 747-400 flew over the ocean and circled, dumped fuel and then returned for a bumpy emergency landing. The landing gear dug into the runway, leaving a 7,000-foot-long field of debris that took 40 employees hours to clean up… [Link]
And the Concorde proved that runway debris is murderous.
… the teenager and his family turned on the news to see footage of their plane landing amid a shower of sparks… Airport officials said the pilots made a wise choice to take off, explaining that, if they had aborted, they might not have had enough runway to stop the heavy, fully fueled aircraft. [Link]
p>Next day, different plane, an engine problem led to a minor passenger revolt:
Flight 136 pushed back from the gate… 2 1/2 hours late… one of the four engines was malfunctioning… the flight crew didn’t provide more detailed information, passengers said, leaving them trapped on the packed jumbo jet for about five hours… Finally, Wenz, the professor, said he just walked through a door that attendants had opened. He climbed down the stairs and off the plane to wait on the tarmac. Other passengers, he said, followed. [Link]
Taking a Delhi-to-Chennai train would’ve been faster than this flight. Last year, an Air India crew forgot to drop landing gear. So if you’re flying Air India, here’s a cheery thought: it may not be Jet Airways, but it sure beats Aeroflot.