Hyderabad: Venkaiah Naidu, the senior BJP leader, is a veteran of emergency landings. The Hyderabad-bound Air India (AI 560) flight by which he was flying made an emergency landing after the take-off from Delhi airport today due to some technical snag, he said here.
“With Lord Balaji's blessings, I am safe here. This is the ninth incident where I happened to be on an aircraft or a helicopter that made emergency landing after taking off,” Naidu said, talking to reporters.
On April 2, a private aircraft that was to fly Naidu to Ujjain from Indore developed a snag, forcing him to delay his departure by a few hours.
During the launch of Air Deccan's flight operations in Hyderabad in September 2003, fire broke out in one of the engines of the aircraft. Naidu, then the BJP president, and former civil aviation minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy were on this flight, besides a few journalists.
Naidu said the 131 passengers on the AI flight today faced some tense moments till landing safely back in Delhi.
“I am supposed to be in Hyderabad to inaugurate (Bandaru) Dattatreya's office inauguration (in Secunderabad). Twenty-five minutes after the plane took off, suddenly there was big sound....There was a feeling as if aircraft is sliding down. We were all confused as to what was happening,” he said.
When contacted, an Air India spokesperson said the flight developed a technical sang and flew back to Delhi Airport. The passengers resumed the journey on a special aircraft. In 2003, Naidu's chopper had developed a snag and landed in a field in Ranchi. Again, the same year, a chopper carrying him had to land in a forest area in Nagaland.