A wild boar hist a Hyderabad-bound IndiGo aircraft that was carrying almost 100 passengers and crew during take off at 10.30 pm on Sunday.
There have been reports of wild boars straying onto the airport in night's darkness for some time and they came true on Sunday.
But the pilot could not land the flight immediately, as the rear wheel was damaged in the run-in and failed to retract. The crew members of the plane informed the Air Traffic Control (ATC) about the incident, after which the runway was cleared of the carcass for the aircraft to return for touch down. Once the plane landed, it was thoroughly inspected and cleaned before it finally took off again. As it would be unsafe to land a plane with a full fuel tank, the pilots flew over the sea for 45 minutes. The flight had to return to the airport to be checked for damage, an was delayed by almost three hours.
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A statement issued by the airline said, "Flight 6E-742 from Vishakhapatnam to Hyderabad hit a wild boar on the runway during take-off". "The technical team found that the flesh of the wild boar was stuck to the rear wheel of the aircraft, hindering its free rotation".
The Visakhapatnam-Hyderabad flight, which took off at 10.30 p.m., came back to the runway.
"We have requested the District Collector to arrange us personnel from the Forest Department and Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation to catch the wild boar suspected to be hiding in the thick vegetation in the vicinity", VIA Director Prakash Reddy told The Hindu on Monday. It is to be seen what steps the airport authorities will take to prevent recurrence of the incident.