Rahul Gandhi’s chartered plane came seconds close to crashing in Karnataka in April because of “delayed action by the flight crew”, aviation regulator DGCA has reportedly assessed.
The DGCA or Directorate General of Civil Aviation has said in its inquiry report that the crew acted too late “due to lack of institutional awareness”.
On April 26, the 10-seater plane taking the Congress president from Delhi to Hubbali in Karnataka suddenly plunged, listed dangerously to one side and shuddered violently despite clear weather. The Congress alleged “tampering” and called for an investigation.
Besides Rahul Gandhi, there were four other passengers, two pilots, one cabin crew and one engineer when the incident took place.
In its 30-page report, the two-member DGCA committee ruled out any prior snag in the Ligare Aviation-operated private Falcon 2000 jet.
“Due to lack of institutional awareness, the crew actions to control of the aircraft manually were slightly delayed, the DGCA report said.
After the incident, Rahul Gandhi’s close aide Kaushal Vidyarthi, who was also travelling with him, had filed a complaint with local police besides writing to the Karnataka Director General of Police expressing concern over the series of events.
Following this, civil aviation minister Suresh Prabhu had ordered a detailed probe into the incident.
Subsequently, the DGCA had set up the panel, with one member each from the safety and airworthiness wings, to investigate the incident.