Air India's leased 777-200ER's nose-wheel collapses at Mumbai airport

Air India is investigating the collapse of the nose-gear of a stationary Boeing 777-200ER, one of three ex-United Airlines 777-200ERs leased by the Indian flag-carrier, at the parking bay of Mumbai's international airport.

The incident occurred at Mumbai airport's gate 48, shortly before the twin-jet was about to operate flight AI717 to Dubai, on 16 May.

The nose-gear lock had not been applied, when the incident occurred. This, however, has not been confirmed. The extent of damage to the aircraft is also unclear.

The leased Boeing 777-200 ER, named Megh Malhar, was brought out of the hangar and parked in bay No 48. The Boeing's door was open and an aerobridge was connected to the aircraft, although passengers had not yet started boarding.

The aircraft was said to be undergoing a pre-flight check and there were no passengers inside the aircraft. However, an engineer working under the aircraft's nose had a miraculous escape when he ran out of the plane's shadow the moment he saw it shaking.

The designated flight AI-717 left at 4 pm using an alternative aircraft, the spokesperson said.

The incident also did not affect operations at the Mumbai airport. "The aircraft will be moved back to the hangar without difficulty," said a source.

Air-India, meanwhile, has a disabled aircraft recovery kit positioned in Mumbai.