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Rahul Gandhi`s plane had autopilot mode failure: DGCA citing operator`s report

New Delhi: A day after Congress alleged that there was a conspiracy behind Rahul Gandhi’s plane making an emergency landing in Hubali airport, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Friday cited an operator’s report as saying that the autopilot mode on the plane had developed problems.

The DGCA said the operator’s report found that the plane’s autopilot mode had developed a snag and that the pilot had to shift to manual mode in order to complete the landing. The DGCA further pointed out that autopilot failure is not an uncommon occurrence. News agency ANI reports that the DGCA has now set up a two-member committee to probe the incident and a report is expected in the next three weeks.

On Thursday, a plane carrying the Congress President reportedly tilted to its left and violently shook while approaching the Hubali airport in north Karnataka. While the plane managed to land safely at around 1035 hrs, the Congress party was quick to allege that there was a conspiracy behind the mid-air scare. A police complaint was filed and Kaushal Vidyarthi, a close aide of Rahul Gandhi, wrote a letter to DGP Neelmani N Raju in which he alleged that intentional tampering with the aircraft should not be ruled out while investigating the incident.

“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 said.

In its complaint, the Karnataka unit of Congress party also named two pilots for the technical snag.

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