Rahul’s flight scare: DGCA sees problem in autopilot mode

New Delhi: The civil aviation regulator on Friday said the technical glitch developed in the aircraft carrying Congress chief Rahul Gandhi and his team members was due to a snag of autopilot mode.

On Thursday, Rahul Gandhi, along with his four team members, was en route to Hubli in Karnataka in connection with election campaigning when the plane, in which they were flying, shuddered violently throughout the two-hour journey and it landed at the Hubli airport only after two aborted attempts.

The incident was reported to Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) by the operator, M/s Ligear Aviation.

“As per operator report, it was snag of autopilot mode and pilot shifted to manual mode and the aircraft landed safely. Autopilot failure incidents are not uncommon. For any VIP flight DGCA investgates thoroughly. DGCA has set up a two member committee to investigate into the cause of the incident.Report is likely in 2-3 weeks,” the DGCA said in a statement.

The Congress yesterday filed a complaint with the Karnataka police after the incident.

Congress member Kaushik Vidyarthee, one of the passengers, complained about several “unexplained technical failures” during the two-hour journey.

The complaint alleged that the aircraft was “intentionally sabotaged”.

Reportedly, Rahul’s office has demanded that the private aircraft be grounded at Hubli airport until the completion of the investigation.