Two Air India pilots were grounded after they forgot to retract the landing gear on a domestic flight in India last week.
According to The Times of India, an Airbus A320 carrying almost 100 passengers took off from Kolkata bound for Mumbai.
After the plane climbed to 4,000 feet, the crew would have gone through the take-off checklist which includes ensuring the landing gear had been retracted.
"For some reason, the pilots forgot to do it. With the wheels down, the drag force increases and the aircraft speeds rather noisily through the air. The pilots are supposed to check fuel at intervals through the trip, which they might not have done. Also, the A320 couldn't climb beyond 24,000 feet,” a source told the Times.
The flight reportedly continued for an hour and a half at 230 knots, less than half its normal cruising speed.
Because the aircraft consumed fuel at a faster rate, the flight was forced to divert to Nagpur, 500 miles short of Mumbai. When they got ready to land, the pilots reportedly noticed their mistake.
"The pilots began to prepare the aircraft for landing and it was only when they decided to put down the landing gear that they realized that it was down all along,'' the source told the Times.
Following the incident, a spokesperson for Air India said, “The pilots were de-rostered after the incident was reported. Investigation is on."
Read more at The Times of India.