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DGCA sets up panel to probe Rahul Gandhi plane incident

Rahul Gandhi,Aviation regulator DGCA has set up a two-member committee to probe the incident of technical snag in a chartered plane that was carrying Congress President Rahul Gandhi, a senior official said.

The incident happened during landing of the flight from New Delhi at Hubballi in north Karnataka on Thursday.

Alleging “intentional tampering” with aircraft, the Congress party on Thursday had demanded a probe into the “suspicious and faulty performance” of the 10-seater Falcon 2000.

“The Directorate General of Civi Aviation (DGCA) has set up a two member panel to investigate the incident. While one member is from the Directorate of Air Safety, the other member is from the Directorate of Airworthiness,” a senior DGCA official said.

The panel has been asked to submit its report in the next 2-3 weeks, the official added.

As part of the probe, the official said the panel would call cockpit crew and also engineers for questioning about the incident.

If required, the committee might also call the operations staff of the particular aircraft to gather details, the official said.

On Thursday, a senior DGCA official had confirmed that the aircraft had suffered “technical snag”.

“According to the operator’s report, it was a snag of auto pilot mode and the pilot shifted to the manual (mode) and landed (the aircraft) safely,” he had said, adding that shutdown of auto pilot (mode) incidents are not uncommon.

“For any VIP flight, the DGCA examines it in detail. We shall do that here also,” the official had said.

In a letter to Karnataka State DGP Neelmani N Raju, Gandhi’s close aide Kaushal Vidyarthi had said the weather was normal.

“It was apparent from the suspicious and faulty performance of the aircraft that the incidents of shuddering and altitude dipping were not natural or weather-related, but were due to some technical snag…,” the letter had said.

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