Yawn! This is the case of some unaware passengers giving us comic relief last week. At the Jabalpur Airport, where bussing passengers is common, 30 passengers of Spicejet jumped off their bus on to the tarmac. The incident happened on Saturday afternoon.
Why? They saw an incoming Air India (operated by Alliance Air, their subsidiary) ATR 72 aircraft coming too close to them and wondered if it was going to hit them. I won’t exactly put all the blame on the passengers however for not being aware enough about safety. On further investigation it did turn out that the plane was being marshaled into its bay by a helper rather than a trained personnel.
As per the news channels, Alliance Air’s plane came in 15 minutes early, while the SpiceJet turboprop was still on the tarmac and de-boarding was in progress for these passengers. As per the incident report filed by SpiceJet:
At 11.58 am, SpiceJet ramp staff noticed that AI flight is passing by our coach without maintaining standard distance. Ramp staff tried to seek attention of AI captain (but plane kept proceeding)… One of our passengers saw this and started rushing from the coach, followed by all passengers coming down from coach
However, as per Air India/Alliance Air, they did maintain a safe distance to the SpiceJet Q400, operating as SG2641. In spite of this, the SpiceJet captain got physically abusive with the AI technician.
Here is a video of the incident. To me it occurs that there was sufficient distance between the coach and the plane. I know turboprops make a lot of sound till the propellers are not switched off, and maybe a novice passenger felt this was going to hit him, but nothing more than that.
What are your views, do you think Air India was at fault here? I mean they arrived before time for a change…And perhaps the plane was not broken.