Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.

Airlines have many moving parts.

Some parts don't move as readily as others.

Please imagine, though, having been on this particular flight and then learning what had happened.

Here we had an Air India Airbus 320 flying on July 22 from Kolkata to Mumbai. It appeared to be using far more fuel than it should.

Indeed, as the Times of India reports, the plane had to land far short of its destination, at Nagpur.

What, though, could have caused this excessive fuel consumption? An engine fault, perhaps? Some other mechanical snafu?

Well, it seems that the pilots had forgotten to retract the aircraft landing gear after takeoff.

Ergo, the plane wasn't quite as aerodynamic as it might have been.

Indeed, it had struggled to get up in the air and managed to reach only 24,000 feet before it needed a breather. FlightRadar24 confirms the plane never got higher than level.

These planes normally fly at 35,000 feet and above, so this must have been a peculiar experience for all concerned.

The pilots apparently realized that their wheels had been sticking out all the time only when they came in for landing. They'd already been flying for some 90 minutes.

"The pilots were de-rostered after the incident was reported," said the airline.

I confess that though I've heard of many cases of the landing gear not coming down during final approach, I've never heard of a pilot simply forgetting to bring the wheels up after takeoff.

Moreover, if the wheels had been down the whole time, wouldn't the flight have been more uncomfortable and more noisy?

It is, of course, a relief that the plane landed safely.

How, though, might the pilots have simply forgotten what seems like a basic element of their duties?

We tend to rely on pilots not to make too many errors, as we sit aloft in their metal tubes.

I wonder when these pilots might be allowed to fly again.

Published on: Jul 29, 2017
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.