According to IndiGo officials, the pilot of flight 6E-742 saw the boar, but it was too late to abort take-off.
Almost 160 passengers and crew on board a Hyderabad-bound IndiGo flight from Visakhapatnam had a narrow escape when a wild boar strayed onto the runway and came under the aircraft when it was in the last stage of taxiing. As the pilot could not halt the plane at once, it took off.
The wild boar that strayed into the runway in the dark came under the rear wheel of the aircraft at around 10.45 pm, the scheduled take-off time. The TOI report mentions that they flight could not touch down immediately, as the rear wheel was not getting retracted.
The pilot returned to Visakhapatnam and flew in a pattern around the city to burn up as much fuel as possible and landed back at the airport safely. In what can be termed a miraculous escape, the disaster was averted after a wild boar hit the flight mid-takeoff. "After runway inspection, the pilot carried out a precautionary landing at Vizag airport after 45 minutes for necessary inspection". After the incident, Vizag airport director G Prakash Reddy wrote to the Indian Navy, Visakhapatnam collector and Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), requesting the authorities to initiate measures to clear the vegetations near the runway.
"In 1972, a cheetah had entered the airport, triggering terror".
The IndiGo flight, which was supposed to reach Hyderabad by 11.15 pm, took off only at 1 am and reached Hyderabad on Monday 2.15 am. Now, the wild boar menace is serious. It is to be seen what steps the airport authorities will take to prevent recurrence of the incident.