Did Air India Express flight touch down beyond safe zone?
New Delhi, Aug 08: The preliminary investigations into the cause of the crash of the Air India Express plane suggests that bad weather could have been the cause. The initial probe also shows that a late touch down could have also been the reason for the air crash.
Officials say that the aircraft landed beyond the 3,000 feet mark, when it should have ideally done so no further than the 500 feet mark. This could have been due to bad weather, officials have said.
18 people including four children lost their lives in the air crash. 22 others who were on the flight are in a serious conduction. Nine of those died belonged to Kozhikode, Malapuram district collector, K Gopalkrishnan said.
"It would be inappropriate to comment on the cause or come to any conclusion," Civil Aviation Minister, Hardeep Singh Puri said after visiting the site. An Indian Express report while quoting air traffic control personnel said that the pilot reported visibility issues. After coming down 2,000 feet, the pilot tried landing again. The second attempt was made from the west end of the runway, which is not the preferred landing direction.
While commenting on the tabletop runway, Puri said that these are not uncommon. They do pose some challenges, but let us await the outcome of the probe, he also said.
"The aircraft was being captained by one of our most experienced and distinguished commanders, Deepak Sathe. He had landed on this airfield as many as 27 times, including this year. The probe will also look into human error, if any. The weather condition was very bad and the aircraft skidded," Puri also said.
Every flight has an alternative airport as the destination for emergencies, with enough fuel stocked for the same. In the case of this flight, the alternate destination was Tiruchirappally in Tamil Nadu which is 45 minutes away from the Kozhikode airport.