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Safety First: Indigo Pilot Refuses Takeoff Due To Short Runway And Extreme Heat

Due to the short runway and the temperature of 43 degrees, the pilot steadfastly refused to exit the plane. Learn more about the relationship between aircraft lift and temperature.

Edited By : News24 Desk | Updated: May 25, 2024 14:50 IST
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Airport News: An Indigo Airlines flight could not take off on time on Friday evening due to soaring temperatures in Bhopal. That plane was scheduled to depart from Bhopal’s Raja Bhoj Airport at 5:50 pm. for Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. Shortly after all 72 passengers boarded the plane, passengers were told that the plane could not take off due to the temperature outside.

The captain of the plane said: “This flight will be delayedOur flight will be delayed due to the operation of the engine, because the temperature outside is very high, so the performance of the engine is severely limited. In this situation, we can carry just a certain amount of weight.” In this situation, the question arises, what is the relationship between aircraft engine performance and temperature? Do planes have a hard time taking off in this temperature?

The senior pilot told News18 that every flight requires three components to take off. First – the engine capacity of the aircraft, second – the length of the runway and third – the outside temperature. Based on these three components, each pilot decides whether the weight of the aircraft is suitable for take-off or not. These three components were mainly responsible for the delay of the Indigo flight on Friday night.

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Three main components responsible for takeoff in Bhopal

He said the Indigo aircraft that took off from Bhopal airport on Friday was an ATR-72-600 fitted with 2x PWC engines. It has a smaller engine and smaller displacement than Boeing and Airbus giants. Meanwhile, the length of Bhopal Airport’s runway is only 2,744 meters, which is about 1,656 meters shorter than that of Delhi Airport. The temperature in the airport at that time was about 43 degrees.

How do all three components contribute to flight delays? What are they?

The senior pilot said the temperature at the Bhopal airport was around 43 degrees last night. At this temperature, the density of the air begins to decrease. In this situation, the wings need more power to lift the plane. The machine receives more power when the engine of the machine is more efficient or it travels at a very high speed for a long distance. Since the runway at the Bhopal airport is only 2,744 meters long, the plane could not travel a long distance at high speed.

How is the correct temperature of an aircraft determined for takeoff?

The senior pilot said the aircraft has exhaust gas temperature (EGT) signals to determine the correct take-off temperature. EGT calculates whether or not takeoff is possible based on the aircraft’s current weight, engine displacement, runway length, and temperature. He said that whenever the pilot tries to start the engine for takeoff, the EGT signals warn him to do so. In this situation, the take-off will be delayed for some time.

Can the plane take off despite these conditions?

The senior pilot stated that if the runway is short, the engine capacity is low, and the outside temperature is high, the pilot’s only option is to reduce the weight of the aircraft. This can be achieved in three ways: first, by lifting the passengers; second, by unloading the passengers’ luggage; and third, by reducing the fuel of the plane. Among the three options, the best choice is to wait for the temperature to drop. Despite the difficulties this may cause at the time, it will ultimately save everyone from facing greater problems in the future.

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First published on: May 25, 2024 01:24 PM IST

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