On 19th June 2022, there was chaos abound after a Spicejet flight caught on fire while mid-air. Something like this happening is always something of a nightmare, since there the very precarious position of the plane that has hundreds of passengers holed up inside of it and any type of deboarding when a plane is mid-flight is not anything short of impossible.
However, thankfully all the 185 passengers on board were found to be safe after the brave pilot made an emergency landing.
But who is this pilot whose correct decisions and quick thinking led to them doing just the correct things so as to safely turn back and land on ground while in such a tense situation and even have all the passengers be fully safe and sound.
It would be Captain Monica Khanna, who was the pilot-in-command for that particular flight and pulled off a dangerous situation in a correct way.
Who Is Captain Monica Khanna?
Captain Monica Khanna was the pilot-in-command of the SpiceJet Limited flight SG723 that was going from Patna to Delhi. Shortly after the flight had its take-off from Patna airport some passengers noticed that the left engine of the Boeing 737 aircraft was on fire.
The plane had to turn back to Patna airport and make an emergency landing. But it wasn’t as easy as it sounds since the plane having just taken off had a full tank of fuel and according to reports landing a plane with a full tank is an extremely challenging job for a pilot.
Not just that but the left engine being on fire meant that only one engine was operational and the fact that the pilot was able to land with zero casualties is truly admirable.
Gurcharan Arora, SpiceJet’s chief of flight operations said “Pilots handled the situation well. Only a single engine was functioning when the plane landed back. Engineers inspected the aircraft. It was confirmed that the fan blade and engine were damaged as a bird hit it. DGCA will probe further.”
Captain Khanna, along with first officer Balpreet Singh Bhatia, as per safety guidelines and more switched off the engine that was on fire and handle the situation in a calm and collected manner.
Gurcharan Arora also added that “Captain Monika Khanna and first officer Balpreet Singh Bhatia conducted themselves well during the incident. They were calm throughout and handled the aircraft well.”
As per reports, she joined SpiceJet in 2018 and since then has been a very highly-qualified pilot at the airline. After her quick thinking and skills saved the lives of so many people, she was highly praised online for her heroic act.
Speaking about what went wrong with the plane, Director of Jay Prakash Narayan Patna airport Anchal Prakash explained that “The left engine of the SpiceJet flight SG-723 was damaged and caught fire due to bird-hitting.”
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Feature Image designed by Saudamini Seth
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