Captain Monica Khanna’s quick-thinking saved the lives of around 185 passengers on board the SpiceJet flight that caught fire shortly after takeoff on Sunday.
The Delhi-bound SpiceJet flight safely returned to Patna after cabin crew noticed sparks flying out of the left engine of the aircraft and alerted the pilots. Captain Monica Khanna – the pilot in-charge – acted calmly and took control of the situation. After consulting with First Officer Balpreet Singh Bhatia, she switched off the affected engine and landed the ‘overweight’ aircraft skillfully in Patna.
Her quick-thinking and prompt action saved the lives of around 185 passengers and crew on board the flight.
A senior SpiceJet official lauded the pilots who made the emergency landing after being alerted to the engine fire, which was reportedly caused by a bird hit.
“Captain Monica Khanna and first officer Balpreet Singh Bhatia conducted themselves well during the incident. They were calm throughout, and handled the aircraft well,” Gurcharan Arora, SpiceJet's chief of flight operations, was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
"Only a single engine was functioning when the plane landed back. Engineers inspected the aircraft, and confirmed that a fan blade and engine were damaged as a bird hit. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will probe further,” Arora further said.The SpiceJet flight landed at the Bihta Airforce Station in Patna after the aircraft’s left wing caught fire. Footage shared online by a passenger showed flares coming out of the engine.
— Sandeep Panwar (@tweet_sandeep) June 19, 2022