President plane develops problem, flight delayed

Kolkata:A technical problem detected in the special aircraft of President Pratibha Patil as the IAF Boeing 737 was being readied for takeoff today from the NSC Bose International airport here delayed her departure to Pune. Airport sources said the pilot of the VVIP flight noticed signs of some problem in the cockpit panel while it was still at the tarmac.

The aircraft was thoroughly checked and cleared to fly with the President on board at 11.11 am, airport sources said. The plane was scheduled to take off at 10.20 am. Sources said that Patil remained in the aircraft while the checks were being carried out.

The President had come to Visva-Bharati university at Santiniketan to participate in the programmes commemorating 150th birth anniversary of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. Governor MK Narayanan, two state ministers and other senior officials of state government were present at the airport to see her off.