One passenger reportedly saw sparks coming out of the right engine.

Air India 777-300ER
Photo: viper-zero | Shutterstock

Air India’s long-haul flight between New Delhi and Vancouver was cut short after the aircraft had to turn back to Delhi following a technical glitch. Currently, Air India is the only carrier serving this route, with Air Canada pulling out due to airspace restrictions over Russia.

Boeing 777 turns back

Air India flight AI 185 is a daily service between New Delhi and Vancouver. The flight is operated by a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft with a scheduled departure of 05:10. On May 26th, the flight departed Delhi at 05:49, almost 50 minutes behind schedule for the journey that usually lasts just under 14 hours.

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Flight path

But it did not even cross the Indian border when a technical fault forced it to return to New Delhi. The Times of India reports that a passenger reported seeing sparks coming out of the plane’s right engine. Pilots reportedly dumped fuel to ensure the aircraft was within the safe weight limit for landing. Air India said that there was no bird strike involved and added,

“AI-185 (Delhi-Vancouver) of May 26, 2023, operated by B777 aircraft has returned to Delhi following a technical issue shortly after takeoff. The aircraft has landed back in Delhi airport now. We regret the inconvenience caused to the passengers and are making alternate arrangements for them while providing all support.”

About the aircraft

The Boeing 777 involved in the incident is 15 years old with the registration VT-ALM. It was delivered to Air India in June 2008 and has since then accumulated a little over 59,000 flight hours across 7,803 flight cycles.

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Air India Boeing 777 (VT-ALM)

Air India has 13 Boeing 777-300ERs in its fleet, along with seven 777-200 LRs, which it primarily uses for flights to North America. In its recent giant order with Airbus and Boeing, Air India also placed an order for 10 777X planes.

Pilots of Sydney flight derostered

Meanwhile, the pilots of a recent Air India flight between Delhi and Sydney that encountered turbulence, resulting in some passengers getting injured, have been suspended from duty until further investigation.

India’s aviation regulator, the DGCA had said that seven passengers on the May 17th flight reported minor sprain. The cabin crew members provided first aid with the assistance of a doctor and a nurse traveling as passengers, using an onboard first aid kit.

Air India Boeing 787

Photo: Media_works | Shutterstock

Air India has said that “as per findings of the preliminary inquiry, all the SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) laid down for such events were adhered to in this case.” The DGCA has, however, recommended corrective training for the pilots involved.

What are your views on this? Please leave your comments below.

Source: The Times of India

  • Tom Boon-200

    Air India

    IATA/ICAO Code:

    Airline Type:
    Full Service Carrier

    Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport

    Year Founded:

    Star Alliance

    Campbell Wilson



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