MANGALORE: Fifty-nine passengers on board aJet Airways flight from Bangalore to Mangalore ended up with more frequent flyer miles than they bargained for thanks to a swarm of bees that kept them inside the aircraft for an hour longer than desired. The flight – an ATR aircraft that landed atMangalore International Airport at Kenjar near Mangalore 11.30am was taxiing in when a swarm from the nearby forest descended on it, taking everyone off guard.
The airport authorities informed the pilot not to deboard the passengers and directed the crash tenders to the tarmac using which water was sprayed on the aircraft. However, the bees that had settled on the propeller blades and the engine merely shifted place as water was sprayed. The airport authorities then directed the pilot to taxi on the apron itself. The propellers in action scattered the bees and this operation went on for around 10-15 minutes.
J T Radhakrishna, airport director, MIA told TOI that by the time the aircraft had taken two rounds on the apron, most of the bees had taken off. The aircraft was then taken to a remote bay from where the passengers were made to alight and then brought to the terminal building. The flight that should have left for Bangalore at 12.05pm finally left at 1.15pm, he said, adding that the flying time from Bangalore to Mangalore on an ATR is 55-65 minutes.