Sunday, October 14, 2018

AIX flight ran into unpaved ground before taking off

Mumbai: The Air India Express Boeing 737-800 that flew with a ripped underbelly for close to four hours on Friday, had overrun the end of the Trichy airport runway into the unpaved ground before lifting off to a more eventful takeoff.
The Dubai-bound aircraft with 136 people on board, which departed at 1.18am, hit a localizer antenna and scooped out a portion of the airport perimeter wall on takeoff. With a long, gaping wound running along its underbelly, the Boeing 737 climbed to 36,000 feet and flew a distance of around 1,500km and reached Muscat airspace before being diverted to land in Mumbai at 5.30am.

An Airports Authority of India (AAI) source said, “The skid marks on the ground extend way beyond the runway-end. The aircraft damaged a runway end-light too.”

Capt Mohan Ranganathan, air safety expert, said, “It looks like the pilots tried to reject takeoff. It appears to be a case of indecision. They seem to have continued without realizing that they’d used up a lot of runway in the indecision.”

He recalled the Indian Airlines Aurangabad April 1993 flight IC491 crash. The Boeing 737 didn’t lift off till almost at the end of the runway. “It then hit a truck on a highway plying on a road near the end of the runway. One of my close friends, Capt Sanjeev Mulherkar, and his entire family died in that crash. A similar accident could have taken place in Trichy. There’s a road just beyond the perimeter wall,” said Capt Ranganathan.
13/10/18 Times of India
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