An Air India aircraft suffered damages when its pilot decided to immediately lift the plane to avoid hitting a person and a jeep that had suddenly come on the Pune airport runway during takeoff on Saturday.

In the attempt to do an “early rotation” or lift the nose wheel off the ground earlier, the plane’s fuselage was damaged.

The incident happened today morning when the A321 (VT-PPU) was operating as AI 852 from Pune to Delhi.

However, despite the incident, the Air India flight, with around 180 passengers on board, landed at the Delhi airport safely.

An official of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) stated that “during take-off roll while at 120 knots speed, crew saw a jeep and a person on the runway, to avoid conflict they did early rotation. The aircraft has safely landed at Delhi.” Air India has been advised to remove the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) for its analysis, the official added.

Another DGCA official aware of the preliminary investigation into the incident said, “The aircraft has been withdrawn from service for investigation. Air India has been advised to coordinate with Pune ATC (air traffic control) also to find out any marking on the runway.”

Air India spokesperson, Dhananjay Kumar, said the A321 aircraft, that was scheduled to operate AI 825 to Srinagar was observed to have certain marks towards the empennage (Tail) area. This aircraft had arrived from Pune as AI 825. The aircraft has been withdrawn for detailed investigation.

The CVR and SSFDR (solid state flight data recorder) readouts would be carried out and the findings shared appropriately, he further said.