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Alliance Air Mumbai-Bhuj flight carrying 70 passengers flies without key parts, DGCA launches probe

Later, the airline's engineering team reached the site and retrieved the engine cover from the runway.

A Bhuj-bound flight from Mumbai, with 66 passengers on board, made it safely to its destination despite its engine cover having fallen off on the runway at Mumbai airport on Wednesday morning. The Alliance Air ATR 72-600 aircraft landed safely in Bhuj and now, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is investigating how it happened.

According to airport officials, the incident came to light after the Air Traffic Control (ATC) sounded an alert to the pilots of the aircraft ATR 72-600, that the cowl (engine cover) was found on the runway after it took off at 6.30am on February 9. The pilots of the aircraft were unaware of the occurrence and said that the flight was operating normally when asked by the ATC officials about the missing cover, claiming that no such thing had happened.

An official said that engine cowling, a portion of the ATR aircraft, is the removable, outer covering of an engine which protects it from foreign particles and is also used to reduce drag and cool the engine.

The aircraft landed safely at Bhuj two hours later, as scheduled, without any hassles, and passengers were deboarded safely. The same aircraft was to return to Mumbai with 61 passengers; however, during inspection, the engine cover was found missing and the return flight was cancelled and the aircraft was sent for repair and maintenance.

Alliance Air said it regretted the incident and had taken a strict note of it. “We have taken strict note of the incident and a thorough investigation has been initiated. The findings of the same shall be shared with the regulatory authorities and we shall ensure that all required corrective actions are put in place,” the airline said in a statement.

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