Lucknow, July 16 : A Vistara Mumbai-Delhi flight UK944 with 153 passengers on board was airborne for three-and-a-half hours during which it circled over Delhi,diverted to Lucknow, then headed to Allahabad, again returned to lucknow for landing with almost empty fuel tanks.
The incident happened on Monday, flight UK944 operating on Mumbai-Delhi route initiated a diversion to Lucknow due to bad weather over Delhi.
However, over Lucknow, the visibility suddenly dropped and a safe landing was not possible.
“The crew then considered alternative airfields, including Kanpur and Prayagraj to land in comparatively better weather conditions. En route Prayagraj, Lucknow ATC then informed the crew that the weather in Lucknow had improved significantly following which the crew decided to return to Lucknow due to better passenger and aircraft support there,” the airline said in a statement on Tuesday.
“The unexpected drop in visibility at the alternative destination was the main reason why the aircraft ended up in a low-fuel situation despite carrying excess fuel over and above the required flight plan fuel as per regulations. Safety of passengers and crew was kept at the highest priority throughout the flight.”
Aviation regulator DGCA on Tuesday grounded a pilot who issued a ‘Mayday’ distress call due to low-fuel near Lucknow airport on Monday while operating a Mumbai-Delhi flight.
A senior Vistara official said that the pilot has been “de-rostered” as per the instructions of the regulator.
“The pilot who was operating UK944 flight and issued a ‘Mayday’ call on Monday has been grounded by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA),” a source said.