Nagpur: They took off only to land minutes later. Indian and Australian cricketers on board a Jet Airways flight had a scare when an eagle was sucked into one of the engines. The aircraft was forced to make a precautionary landing.
Aviation experts say bird hits are generally not fatal, unless both engines get damaged and chances of that are one in a million. Yet it does cause a lot of inconvenience, passengers have to disembark and in many cases the plane is grounded for repair.
Bird hits are a major menace especially in Delhi and Mumbai which together have seen 45 bird hits this year alone. The culprit: dense human habitation around the airports.
"The Government has empowered the DGCA to take steps against people who are illegally setting up shops like that near the airport," says Maushumi Chakravarty, Spokesperson of the Civil Aviation Ministry.
Every state has an Airport Environment management committee headed by the chief secretary to monitor areas around the airport on a monthly basis. But the results have not been encouraging. With the growth in traffic the hits have only increased.
(With inputs from Karma Paljor in New Delhi)