Thursday, August 13, 2020

Wreckage of crashed Air India Express plane captured in satellite images

New Delhi: The wreckage of the ill-fated Air India Express flight 1344 which took off from Dubai and crash-landed at Kozhikode airport on August 7 has been captured in satellite images. In the images, a tattered Boeing 737 can be seen covered by blue tarp, metres away from the runway.

The front part of the aircraft is seen lying at a distance from the rest of the aircraft. Space firm Maxar Technologies managed to capture these new images on Tuesday morning.
The aircraft has been entirely covered to preserve it from bad weather, as the investigation to determine the exact cause of the incident is still underway. Apart from the aircraft, two cranes, a truck, and other vehicles are seen near the crash site, suggesting the ongoing investigation.
Air India Express Fight IX-1344 from Dubai to Calicut International Airport was carrying 190 passengers when it crash-landed after skidding off the runway. Eighteen people, including its pilot Captain Deepak Sathe and co-pilot Akhilesh Kumar Sharma, were killed and more than 30 people injured in the accident.
The black box of the aircraft has been recovered which is expected to help the investigators. Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) chief Aurobindo Handa on Wednesday said that any assessment at this stage would be too premature. "Initial collection of evidences is in progress for carrying out formal investigation into the causes of the accident to Air India Express B- 737 aircraft VT-AXH," Handa said.
Boeing 737-8HG serial no. 36323 was manufactured in November 2006, making it 13 years old.
The airport also known as Calicut airport has an asphalt runway of 2,860m length and 45m width. The runway has a 150m of overshoots on either side.
The tabletop is only 150m wide as compared to the runway width of 45m. The tabletop is raised by almost 35-40m from the surrounding areas.
The most surprising element noticed on satellite imagery is that the runway incline is not unidirectional. The runway is raised near the Eastern end of apron to almost 106m above the mean sea level (MSL) and declines to about 98m on either ends of the runway.
Such a huge incline of 8m would certainly play a pivotal role in causing accidents.
13/08/20 Ankit Kumar Col Vinayak Bhat/India Today

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