Oops: Former Air India A320 Gets Stuck Under Bridge

Oops: Former Air India A320 Gets Stuck Under Bridge

8

It’s not every day you see something like this. Then again, this also isn’t the first time that something like this has happened.

How an Air India plane got stuck under a bridge

Video has gone viral of a former Air India Airbus A320 getting stuck underneath a bridge on the Delhi-Gurugram highway near Delhi Airport.

Now, in fairness, this mishap has nothing to do with Air India as such. The plane no longer belongs to Air India, and was in the process of being transported in order to be scrapped, with the wings removed. This mistake is the fault of the company responsible for transporting the plane.

As an Air India spokesperson explains:

“This is an old, scrapped aircraft which has already been sold off by us. There is no additional information as it involves the person to whom it has been sold off. The aircraft certainly does not belong to the Delhi airport’s fleet and in the video, it is being transported without any wings. It appears to be a scrapped plane and the driver may have made a judgement of error while transporting it.”

It’s pretty amazing that the plane is basically halfway underneath the bridge before the truck carrying it comes to a stop. It seems that the nose and front of the plane likely cleared the bridge without issue, while there was something sticking up around the middle of the plane, which caused the problem.

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not an expert on trucking logistics, but I’d assume that if you’re transporting an aircraft, you’d figure out exactly how much clearance you need (from the highest point of the aircraft), and then make sure you don’t get under a bridge with less clearance than that. But maybe that’s just me… 😉

This isn’t the first time this has happened

In 2019, a truck carrying a former India Post Boeing 737-200 got stuck under a bridge in West Bengal, so this Air India incident is the second time in a couple of years that we’ve seen something like this happen in India.

For that matter, even that wasn’t the first time such an incident had happened. Also in 2019, a China Southern Airbus A320 got stuck under a bridge in Harbin, China.

So, how do you get a plane “unstuck” from under a bridge? The solution seems to be to let air out of the tires of the trucks, so that they have just enough clearance to get out from under the bridge. On the plus side, at least it seems like in all of these cases there wasn’t any significant damage to the bridges.

Bottom line

A former Air India Airbus A320 got stuck underneath a bridge in Delhi, which is the third such incident we’ve seen in the past couple of years. While I imagine the logistics of transporting an aircraft fuselage are complicated, it’s still surprising to me that this has happened a few times now in a fairly short period.

Generally the solution here is to let air out of the tires. I suppose the damage to the plane isn’t a huge deal if the plane is just going to get scrapped, though the damage to the bridge is a different story.

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  1. DCharlie

    Wow - this looks like the road between Delhi and Gurgaon. I actually travel this route every time I fly to Delhi for work on my way to the Leela Ambience in Gurgaon Although not obvious, this is a fast-paced 4-lane highway so definitely a treat for passers-by. *Chuckle*

  2. Emily

    Haha - this brought a smile to my face because just day before yesterday, I observed a similar incident in Bombay where a truck got stuck under a gantry (albeit without a 737 on its bed). The guy just reduced the air pressure on the tires and drove through.

  3. Space Ghost

    Concrete bridge versus lightweight aluminum can? Bridge wins with only cosmetic damage. :)

  4. MDA

    Meanwhile in Singapore..... https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/sia-a380-scrap-singapore-airlines-changi-2215261?cid=FBcna&fbclid=IwAR1tO88FForw3vreKbary-aLCBu6doHlaDdx7KYhVXQE6II4VE06KWcQBqc

  5. Levi

    In Boston, that would be quite a Storrowing.

  6. Bhalo

    "...I guess the truck was going at full speed, and wasn’t anticipating any problems."

    Um... NO. There are multiple kinds of protrusions and antenna sticking out along the top (generally after the front section of an aircraft. looks like one of those caused the plane to get stuck (BTW same situation in al 3 different photos you attached - cockpit part cleared)
    If the truck was going at speed - which again I doubt...

    "...I guess the truck was going at full speed, and wasn’t anticipating any problems."

    Um... NO. There are multiple kinds of protrusions and antenna sticking out along the top (generally after the front section of an aircraft. looks like one of those caused the plane to get stuck (BTW same situation in al 3 different photos you attached - cockpit part cleared)
    If the truck was going at speed - which again I doubt carrying such bulky cargo - there will be significant damage to foot bridge above

  7. Robert

    Looks like a pedestrian bridge? Might have been easily overlooked when route planning. But, having worked next to an old and low freeway overpass and having seen more than one truck with a tall load not heed the high load warning signs, it's still not surprising to see something like this.

  8. RNS

    I am not surprised to see this event happening in India (my country of origin).
    This is because infrastructure, though improving, is poorly recorded. Thus, logistics movement for heavy loads often face such challenges.

    Poor Air India--it gets dragged in all the time!
    Lets hope its sale process goes smoothly

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DCharlie

Wow - this looks like the road between Delhi and Gurgaon. I actually travel this route every time I fly to Delhi for work on my way to the Leela Ambience in Gurgaon Although not obvious, this is a fast-paced 4-lane highway so definitely a treat for passers-by. *Chuckle*

Emily

Haha - this brought a smile to my face because just day before yesterday, I observed a similar incident in Bombay where a truck got stuck under a gantry (albeit without a 737 on its bed). The guy just reduced the air pressure on the tires and drove through.

Space Ghost

Concrete bridge versus lightweight aluminum can? Bridge wins with only cosmetic damage. :)

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