In what may be termed as a dangerous situation, a Delhi bound flight diverted to Lucknow, landed with just 10 minutes of fuel left.
The Vistara flight UK-944 that took off from Mumbai with 153 onboard was diverted to Lucknow owing to bad weather and poor visibility in Delhi.
Earlier, on its first approach to Delhi, the plane was hung for almost an hour due to a sudden drop in visibility.
It was then diverted, before finally landing safely in Lucknow with just 300 kg of fuel left.
“Flight UK944 operating Mumbai-Delhi on 15 July 2019 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 condition,” the Vistara spokesperson said.
As per reports, the pilots declared a “Fuel Mayday” in Lucknow, after the fuel situation onboard became increasingly critical.
This was done to indicate the seriousness of their fuel situation to the Air Traffic Control.
The flight that took off at 3:18 pm on Monday from Mumbai finally took off from Lucknow at 12:25 am on Tuesday and landed in Delhi at 1:17 am — making it a 10-hour-journey.
“Enroute 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 Vistara spokesperson said.
“The unexpected drop in visibility at the destination alternate 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,” he further added.
Meanwhile, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday grounded a pilot of Vistara Airlines for not carrying enough fuel in the aircraft.
The matter was reported to the authority on July 15 and has started an investigation on the matter.