Footage Shows Passenger Plane Stuck Under a Bridge. Again.
"Try some margarine."
Turns out those max headroom signs aren't just for show. An Air India plane that was being transported to a new owner got stuck under a bridge near the New Delhi airport. What's more: it was the second time a plane has gotten stuck this way in the capital city in recent years. The Airbus A320 had been taken out of service in 2017 and was being stored at the airport. It had recently been purchased by Pista House, a local company that wanted to open an aviation-themed restaurant.
But picking up their new purchase turned out to be more complicated than the company planned. Read on to find out what happened and why—far from being an isolated incident—there has been a small epidemic of planes getting stuck under bridges.
The decommissioned plane was to be transported from the New Delhi airport to Hyderabad, about a 10-hour drive. According to Simple Flying, the highway leading to Hyderabad was closed for road work. All vehicles en route to Hyderabad were diverted through the Medarametla underpass. The truck hauling the plane followed suit.
Unfortunately, the new route couldn't accommodate a giant airliner. When it approached the underpass, viral video shows it barely scraping through until, ultimately, the fuselage gets stuck halfway through and the truck comes to a halt. Keep reading to learn more and see the video.
A slight traffic jam ensued. Local police mobilized to extract the plane from the underpass, which took a few hours. It was reported that the plane suffered little to no damage to its fuselage, and it proceeded to Hyderabad without further incident.
Believe it or not, this isn't the first time a plane has gotten stuck under an overpass. It's actually happened several times before. Last year, another A320 that had been sold by Air India got stuck under a bridge on the Delhi-Gurugram highway near the airport. At that time, Air India said, "This is an old, scrapped aircraft which has already been sold off."
An airport official told the Times of India, "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 … The driver may have made a judgment of error while transporting it."
The issue isn't exclusive to Air India's planes. In 2019, an Boeing 737-200, formerly of India Post, got stuck under a bridge in West Bengal. Video circulated of the stranded plane surrounded by amused and nonplussed onlookers. And in Argentina last August, a former Southern Winds 737 got stuck under a bridge when it was being transported from an airport to its new owner—who wanted to open an aviation-themed bar—along a busy highway. In that case, a freshly repaved road was to blame. It added height to the highway and prevented the plane from clearing the bridge by 10 centimeters.
Video of these incidents quickly and reliably go viral, and commenters have had plenty to say about the sticky situations. "Try some margarine," suggested Twitter user @exceptions. "Resistance is fuselage," said Redditor @calamariecalendar. "Good thing they weren't going 55," said Reddit user @coulditbe2. "If only the plane had some other means of locomotion where it could bypass underpasses, somehow," said Redditor @bland-fantasie.