Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Two aircraft land without runway light

Nagpur: Over 200 passengers travelling in two Indigo flights, which were diverted to Nagpur from Mumbai, went through anxious moments as the runway lights went off just when the planes were set to land. As both the planes were running out of fuel, the pilots took the risk of landing the aircraft in the dark.
According to airport sources, landing was done using the instrument landing system (ILS) that is present in all the major airports including Nagpur. Sources in the aviation sector say that landing an aircraft on a runway without lights only using ILS is rarest or rare incident and could have risked lives of passengers.

Meanwhile, the Qatar Airways’ flight from Doha was diverted to Hyderabad as they had fuel. The flight, which was to land at 2.20am on Tuesday, did not return to Nagpur till late in the evening.

The lights had gone off due to a cable problem, said sources in the airport management. The incident was confirmed by senior airport authorities who said as it was a major safety concern and the event will be reported to the directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA).

Sources said the flights which were heading towards Mumbai from different locations were diverted to Nagpur due to operational reasons (bad weather) in the intervening night of Monday and Tuesday. However, as the planes approached Nagpur, the runway lights suddenly went off. The pilots had no choice but to land here as the aircraft were running out of fuel. Finally, the landing was done solely depending on the ILS.
03/07/19 Shishir Arya/Times of India
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