Sunday, October 14, 2018

Air India Express fiasco: ‘Aircraft could have flown safely to Dubai’

The Air India Express plane that flew for four hours despite a tear in its belly after hitting a boundary wall at Tiruchi airport could have completed its journey to Dubai safely and was only diverted to Mumbai as repairs would be easier at a home base, airline sources said.

Various teams, including those of the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB), Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the airline were in Mumbai as part of an inquiry into the incident. The two pilots have been suspended pending investigation.

An airline official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the assessment of damage to the aircraft showed that only the “outer covering of the undercarriage or fibreglass panel was torn but the inner structure of the fuselage was intact.”
There was no damage to the pressurisation system that ensures oxygen supply within the airplane and all the cockpit parameters were normal, the official said.

He added that at the time the plane hit the boundary wall, at 1.19 a.m. on Friday, neither the crew nor the passengers felt any impact and that the plane flew and landed safely in Mumbai at 5.35 am.
14/10/18 Jagriti Chandra/The Hindu

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