Bees hijacked two aircrafts of Vistara Airlines parked in a same bay at Kolkata airport 16 hours apart, forcing an hour delay in the flights. Fire fighters were deployed with water hose to drive the hijackers away.
This is the third incident of Bees attack on the aircrafts in Kolkata airport. Last September it was a Air India airliner which faced a similar kind of attack. There were multiple invasions in 2012 involving Air India and Indigo Aircrafts. In all the cases, the insects had zeroed in on planes parked in the remote bay in front of the integrated terminal.
The incidents on Sunday evening and Monday morning occurred at bay 25, Vistara ground staff were in for a shock on Monday morning as well when they found the bees back on another aircraft. though there were another planes in adjoining bays, the bees chose the Vistara aircraft which was scheduled to leave for port Blair at 10.30 am.
Veteran pilots said no aircraft is allowed to take off if it has a swarm of insects on its body. “Each aircraft has several small probes to determine the static pressure and the total pressure of airflow around the aircraft. These are extremely sensitive. Even if one bee goes inside the probe, the air-speed indicators can go wrong. And that can be catastrophic”, said a pilot.
Kolkata airport director Kaushik Bhattacharjee said following the back to back incident, Kolkata terminals and airport grounds were checked to see if the bees had made a hive anywhere. However no bee hives could be spotted.