An Air India flight going to Newark (EWR) from Delhi was forced to return 30 minutes after taking off on Thursday after the pilot reported a bat to Air Traffic Control (ATC).
Air India flight to Newark (EWR) took off from Delhi’s IGI Airport at 2:20 am, only to return after half an hour. According to the reports, the pilot decided to return after a bat was spotted.
“AI-105 DEL-EWR returned 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 ANI.
DGCA officials said fumigation was carried out, and the incident was reported to the airline’s flight safety department for a detailed investigation.
“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,” a senior DGCA official told ANI.
The bat was found dead inside the plane in the business class area.