File this under bizarre things that have a happy ending. Today, an air ambulance found out that it had lost a wheel after takeoff. Fortunately, it landed fine with no injuries or casualties after a belly landing.
Jet Serve Aviation’s Beechcraft King Air C90 Air Ambulance (VT-JIL), delivered in 1999 from the factory, took off from Bagdogra in Bengal and stopped at Nagpur Airport for refuelling at 1630 hours. The plane took off soon after at 1715 hours from Nagpur Airport when the CISF personnel saw the wheel fall off the plane.
The Nagpur Air Traffic Control then alerted the crew and the Mumbai Airport about the situation. The pilot, Captain Kesari Singh and Mumbai Airport proceeded to prepare for an emergency landing. In this case, the captain was told to do a belly landing (without using the landing gear). The aircraft had to spend a couple of hours burning fuel before arriving in Mumbai for a landing. The plane had five people on board, including two crew, patient, caregiver, and medical personnel.
On its part, the Mumbai Airport went into a full emergency mode and prepared for the landing. The airport’s emergency team, which includes the CISF, medical team, fire and rescue, follow-me and so on, was activated. As a precautionary measure, they foamed the runway so that the aircraft may not catch fire on landing. While there were many tense moments during the operation, the plane landed without any casualties or injuries at 2109 hours in Mumbai. It looks like the aircraft is intact (but if the runway is, we don’t know). Here are some pictures.
The patient has been shifted to Jaslok Hospital. The Mumbai Airport issued a statement,
A full emergency was declared for a non-scheduled Beechcraft VT-JIL aircraft on route from Nagpur to Mumbai. The flight carrying 02 crew member, 01 patient, 01 relative and 01 doctor did a belly-landing at CSMIA at 21:09 hrs. The airports 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 RWY 27 in order to avoid the aircraft catching fire. All passengers were evacuated safely and flights operating in and out of CSMIA remain on schedule.
Here is a video of the aircraft after landing.
An Air Ambulance with the registration VT-JIL, carrying five people on board, safely managed to do an emergency landing at Mumbai Airport, and everyone is safe. There will, of course, now be an investigation, and DGCA has been alerted to the possibility of the other aircraft in the fleet being in not-so-good shape, so the DGCA will investigate this as well.
Flying is safer than most activities, and once again, the Captain showed us how they did it right, and no casualties happened!
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