Air India flight rats onboard fumigated
An Air India aircraft had to be fumigated at Indira Gandhi International airport after a rat was reportedly spotted on board. The plane, which landed from Ranchi, had to be withdrawn from service and extensive fumigation was carried out inside it. While Air India officials did not confirm the presence of rodents on the plane, they did admit that the aircraft was fumigated.
This is the third such incident reported on Air India flights. The incident took another interesting turn when a television news channel reportedly accessed the transcripts of messages exchanged between the pilot of the Air India aircraft and the airline’s control room in New Delhi.
The logs of the recorded conversation between flight 115’s pilot and the control room has also revealed some stunning facts. While the pilot complained to the airline’s control room about the rodent menace in the cockpit, he was told to continue the flight towards destination. The airline reportedly assured the pilot that the aircraft will be fumigated upon its arrival at the destination.
On August 4, rodents were also allegedly spotted on a Delhi-bound flight from Kolkata. Sightings of rodents are hard to establish as airlines choose to stay mum and DGCA does not order any inquiries into such reports.
On May 28, based on transcripts obtained by TOI, a pilot of a Delhi-London flight is learnt to have informed the control room mid-air of a rat in the cockpit. Sources say when the aircraft was checked in London, the panic was found to have been created by a ball-point pen near the rudder, however some have claimed there actually was a rat on board.
In 2009, an Air India flight from Amritsar to Toronto was delayed for nearly half a day as staff tried to catch a rat that was spotted on board. The flight was delayed while a replacement aircraft was flown in.
According to officials an aircraft in which a rodent has been spotted has to be fumigated. “Rats may chew on electrical wire which may cause a catastrophe. In such a case, pilots will have no control over any system on board,” a senior commander said. The most common way for rats to get on board an aircraft is through catering vans. “This is a universal phenomenon. Rats follow the large storage cases in which food trays are kept. The catering vans are like a home for them as food keeps getting dropped,” said an official.