An Air India flight was scheduled from dubai to India, which slipped while taking landing on the runway in Kerala’s Kozhiode airport and crashed on Friday.
The Air India Express plane had at least 190 passengers from Dubai. The total nnumber of caualties could not be ascertained till now but the captain of the plane is dead.
The plance crashed and split into two and atleast four casualties are reported till now
The repatriation flight operated by Air India Express, flight number IXI344, was being operated by Captain Deepak Vasanth Sathe and first officer Akhilesh Kumar. The airline, a no-frill subsidiary of national carrier Air India Limited, was carrying four other cabin crew members including Shilpa Katare, Akshay Pal Singh, Lalit Kumar and Abhik Biswas, consistent with the declaration document by the airline, before the flight.
According to one among the people mentioned above, the Boeing 737 aircraft performed a ‘go around’ the airport twice before it attempted to land at the airport which resulted within the lane skidding off the runway.
A go-around is an aborted landing of an aircraft that’s on final approach. A go-around can either be initiated by the pilot flying or requested by traffic control for various reasons, like unstabilized approach, inclemency , obstruction on the runway.
“The first officer of the flight is during a critical state after the crash,” the person said.
The Kozhikode airport may be a tabletop airport, which is difficult to navigate during heavy rains and adverse weather .
A table top airport is one where the runway is on the highest of a plateau or hill with one or both ends adjacent to a steep elevation, which drops into a gorge.
Early images coming from the location of the accident showed that the aircraft broke in two pieces with debris strewn over the runway and beyond.
“All such crashes typically have variety of contributory factors, which unfortunately if they align, causes a crash. The weather might be a serious factor resulting in the accident. However, it’s too early to return to a conclusion on the explanation for the crash,” said the person .
“The Kozhikode airport features a table top runway which is difficult to work under adverse weather .
“Air India Express flight IX 1344 operated by B737 aircraft from Dubai to Calicut overshot runway at Kozhikode at 1941 hrs tonight. No fire (was) reported at the time of landing,” ministry of civil aviation said during a statement.
“There are 174 passengers, 10 Infants , 2 Pilots and 4 cabin Crew on board the aircraft. As per the initial reports rescue operations are on and Passengers are being taken to hospital for medical aid ,” it added.
Indian civil aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had in July last year raised significant safety concerns regarding Airports Authority of India (AAI) operated Kozhikode airport.
According to the regulator, the runway might be dangerous for landings during the heavy rains thanks to excessive rubber depotis, cracks, and water stagnation.
A DGCA spokesperson wasn’t immediately available for comments.
Air India Express spokespersons and spokesperson of Airport Authority of India, which operates the Kozhikode airport, didn’t provide comments despite repeated attempts.
The Kozhikode incident is analogous to a different Air India Express flight crash at Mangalore in May 2010. Incidentally,Air India Express Flight 812 from Dubai to Mangalore, India, crashed on landing at Mangalore during May, 2010. The flight was also being operated on a Boeing 737 aircraft and therefore the accident happened when the aircraft skid off the runway at Mangalore, which similarly may be a table top airport