An air ambulance with a patient on board did a safe belly landing in Mumbai at about 9.10pm on Thursday after one of its tyre fell off.
The tyre falling off of the air ambulance was spotted by a CISF personnel on runway number 32. The situation was immediately reported to Nagpur air traffic control room which in turn alerted the crew on board and Mumbai airport.
The situation was quite nerve-wracking. The plan was to let the air ambulance proceed to Mumbai and hover over there with the intention to burn fuel so that a belly landing can be made possible without extending the landing gear. The fuel had to be burned so that they could reduce the chance of fire.
The aircraft rescue and fire fighting team went forth to create a foam carpeting.
Before landing the aircraft (VT-JIL) sources said: "The Jetserv Aviation air ambulance is approaching Mumbai. The crew is burning fuel (to minimise fire risk on belly landing) by hovering and they are going to do a belly landing; not use the landing gear. Foam is being put on the runway to safeguard against fire."
A message was circulating among friends of the crew on board that read: "Friends, Pls pray for the safety of our friends VT JIL is under emergency. Right landing gear fallen after take off from Nagpur. 1 Patient, 2 Crew and medical team on board. Capt. Keshri Singh is flying. Waheguru mehr kare (sic)"
A Jet Serve Ambulance with a patient onboard lost a wheel during takeoff from Nagpur. Showing immense presence of mind Capt Kesari Singh belly landed the aircraft on foam carpeting in Mumbai. All onboard are safe. Commendable effort by @DGCAIndia@CSMIA_Official & other agencies. pic.twitter.com/aelehUB7DS— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) May 6, 2021
In a statement, Mumbai Airport said, “A full emergency was declared for a non-scheduled Beechcraft VT-JIL aircraft on route from Nagpur to Mumbai. The flight carrying two crew members, one patient, one relative and a doctor was diverted to Mumbai and did a belly-landing at CSMIA at 9.09 pm.”
"The airport's emergency response team including the fire and rescue responders, follow-me vehicles, CISF, medical team amongst many others was activated instantly and on standby to provide immediate assistance to ensure the safe evacuation of the passengers. As a precautionary method, CSMIA also foamed runway 27 in order to avoid the aircraft catching fire. All passengers were evacuated safely and flights operating in and out of Mumbai Airport remain on schedule," the statement added.
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Captain Kesari Singh earlier used to fly for a state government. The incident is said to undergo a probe, However, the aviation industry officials are questioning the aircraft maintenance of the Jetserv Aviation.
"A Jet Serve Ambulance with a patient onboard lost a wheel during takeoff from Nagpur. Showing immense presence of mind Capt Kesari Singh belly-landed the aircraft on foam carpeting in Mumbai. All onboard are safe. Commendable effort by the DGCA, Mumbai Airport and other agencies," Aviation minister Hardeep Singh Puri tweeted.
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