An air ambulance lost a wheel during takeoff from the Nagpur airport on Thursday, but safely belly-landed at the Mumbai airport on a foam carpet, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said. A foam carpet is created on the runway by spreading foam using fire extinguishers so that the plane does not catch fire during an emergency landing.
"A Jet Serve ambulance with a patient onboard lost a wheel during takeoff from Nagpur. Showing immense presence of mind Capt Kesari Singh belly landed the aircraft on foam carpeting in Mumbai (sic)," Minister Hardeep said on Twitter. "All onboard are safe. Commendable effort by DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation), the CSMIA (Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport in Mumbai) and other agencies," he added.
The plane was supposed to fly from Nagpur to Hyderabad. But due to loss of the wheel, it had to land in Mumbai. There were five people on board. According to officials at the Mumbai International Airport Ltd, the non-scheduled aircraft, VT-JIL, was carrying a patient, two crew members, a doctor and a paramedic staff.
Soon after take-off, the nose-wheel of the aircraft fell off, forcing a diversion to Mumbai where it landed at 9:09 pm amid full emergency preparedness. A full emergency was declared for the non-scheduled Beechcraft VT-JIL aircraft.
The airportâ€™s emergency response team including fire and rescue responders, follow-me vehicles, the CISF (Central Industrial Security Force) and medical teams amongst many others provided immediate assistance to ensure the safe evacuation of the passengers. As a precautionary method, the CSMIA also foamed RWY 27 (runway) in order to avoid the aircraft catching fire. All passengers were evacuated safely and flights operating in and out of the CSMIA remained on schedule.
The aircraft is a Turboprop operated by Jet Serve and was piloted safely down by Captain Keshri Singh.
(With agency inputs)