An Air India Dreamliner en route to London from Delhi was asked to keep flying even after the Captain of the flight reported a rodent “just below the right hand side rudderpedal”.
When the pilot complained to the airline’s control room about the rodent menace in the cockpit, he was told to continue the flight towards London. The airline reportedly assured the pilot that the aircraft will be fumigated upon its arrival at the destination.
The alleged incident took place on May 28, briefly distracting the pilot midair. The transcript of the conversation between the pilot of AI-115 and the Air India control room revealed the distraction to be of “approximately six inches, not including tail”.
The commander further described the intruder in his cockpit as, “Colour brownish grey rodent went back towards nose hasn’t emerged back.”
In response, the airline informed the pilot, “Msg copied”.
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Not sure what to do, the pilot further asked: “…. And are you reverting”. The airline responded: “Dear Captain station and engineering (department) informed. Necessary action will be taken on arrival.”
When contacted, an Air India spokesperson said the standard operating procedure followed by the airline in such cases is to send the aircraft for fumigation as soon as possible.
“In this case, the flight had to reach somewhere so that it could be fumigated. When the aircraft is midair and closer to London, it makes sense for it to go on till its destination. Heathrow London is a huge airport, and we have all equipment available there. We will take all possible precautions in future as well.”