Engine trouble grounds Rahul's Bihar-bound plane, rallies delayed

Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi
File Photo - IANS

New Delhi: A Patna-bound flight with Congress president Rahul Gandhi on board was forced to return to Delhi on Friday after experiencing "engine trouble".

Gandhi wrote this on Twitter and also posted a video of the flight which shows him, the pilot and the co-pilot in the plane.

"Engine trouble on our flight to Patna today! We've been forced to return to Delhi," Gandhi tweeted.

"Today's meetings in Samastipur (Bihar), Balasore (Orissa) & Sangamner (Maharashtra) will run late. Apologies for the inconvenience," he said.

Gandhi is on a campaign trail, crisscrossing the length and breadth of the country for the Lok Sabha polls.

Not the first time

This is not the first time his plane has experienced trouble mid-air.

On April 26 last year, a plane carrying Gandhi and some others from Delhi to Hubballi airport in Karnataka for campaigning for assembly polls developed a technical problem and tilted heavily on the left side.

The plane dipped steeply with violent shuddering, but soon recovered and landed safely.

Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had come out with its 30-page report on that incident in which it pinned the blame on the pilots for the near-crash of the Congress president's chartered plane.

After the incident, Gandhi had expressed his desire to go on Mansarovar Yatra, which he undertook later that year.

DGCA starts probe

DGCA has initiated a probe into the incident of the plane carrying Congress President Rahul Gandhi suffering engine trouble, a senior official said.

The plane on way to Patna was forced to return to Delhi on Friday after experiencing "engine trouble".

The senior Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official said the Hawker 850 XP aircraft VT-KNB returned back to Delhi after take-off due to a technical snag.

"DGCA has initiated an investigation as per the laid down procedure," he told PTI.

The aircraft landed safely in Delhi at 1020 hours. There were ten people on board including two crew members, the official said.

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