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Air India repatriation flight crash-lands, at least 17 killed

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Air India repatriation flight crash-lands, at least 17 killed

By Favas Jalla

 

2020-08-07T173150Z_1_LYNXNPEG761DO_RTROPTP_4_INDIA-CRASH.JPG

Rescue workers look for survivors after a passenger plane crashed when it overshot the runway at the Calicut International Airport in Karipur, in the southern state of Kerala, India, August 7, 2020. REUTERS/Stringer

 

KOZHIKODE, India (Reuters) - At least 17 people were killed and more than 100 injured when an Air India Express passenger plane repatriating Indians stranded by the COVID-19 pandemic overshot the runway in heavy rain near the southern city of Kozhikode on Friday, officials said.

 

The Boeing-737 flight from Dubai to Calicut International Airport was carrying 190 passengers and crew, the civil aviation ministry said in a statement. Among them were 10 infants.

 

Television footage showed rescue workers moving around the wreckage in pouring rain. The aircraft lay split into at least two chunks after the plane's fuselage sheared apart as it fell into a valley 35 feet below, authorities said.

 

"Because of the weather conditions, he could not land the first time, so he did a turnaround and tried to approach it from a different direction," Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri told national broadcaster DD News, adding that only an investigation would reveal the cause of the crash.

 

Puri said authorities managed to rescue most of the passengers because the plane did not catch fire while descending the slope at the end of the table-top runway. Such runways are located at an altitude and have steep drops at one or both ends.

 

"The good news is that the plane broke up and we were able to access the passengers," Puri said. He said rescue operations had been completed.

 

The office of the chief minister of Kerala state, where the airport is located and which is home to a large number of Indians working in the Middle East, said that in addition to the 17 dead, 173 others had been hospitalised.

 

It was India's worst passenger aircraft accident since 2010, when another Air India Express flight from Dubai overshot the table-top runway at Mangalore, a city in the south, and slid down a hill, killing 158 people.

 

Media reports suggested the plane skidded off the runway of Calicut, crashing nose-first into the ground.

 

Boeing said it was gathering more information about the incident, closely monitoring the situation and offering assistance to its customer.

 

India, which shut down all air travel in late March to try to contain the novel coronavirus, has restarted limited international air travel. Air India Express AXB1344 was a government-operated repatriation flight for Indians previously unable to return home because of the travel restrictions.

 

TV visuals showed the aircraft's nose smashed into a brick wall, with much of the middle of the plane pulverised.

 

Local TV news channels showed passengers, some of them lying motionless on stretchers, brought into a hospital surrounded by health workers wearing masks because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

"Pained by the plane accident in Kozhikode" Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted. "My thoughts are with those who lost their loved ones. May the injured recover at the earliest."

 

(Reporting by Sudarshan Varadhan in Chennai, Devjyot Ghoshal and Aditi Shah in Delhi, Rajendra Jadhav, Rupam Jain and Euan Rocha in Mumbai, Chris Thomas in Bengaluru, Krishna N. Das in Guwahati and D. Jose in Thiruvananthapuram: Writing by Sanjeev Miglani; Editing by Alison Williams, Barbara Lewis and Leslie Adler)

 

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-- © Copyright Reuters 2020-08-08
 

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Thousand of landings every year in heavy rain and other adverse conditions without incident.   Got to be Pilot Error in my opinion; hit the ground way too far down the Runway.

 

RIP those lost.

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Having read an article a few years ago stating that 40% of indian pilots were flying commercial passenger jets on forged qualifications, I am amazed that this sort of thing does not happen more often 🙂 and let,s face it, surely this practice is not going to be confined to pilot,s licences ! Does anyone know the name of Delhi,s equivalent of Khaosan Road ?

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A post with an inappropriate comment has been removed.

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Posted (edited)

Landing in monsoon rain and high winds, on a high plateau airport with no overrun.  The pilots unfortunately died, but they virtually killed themselves.  This kind of thing happens far too often in that part of the world and in South America; pilots are under trained, under qualified and over confident, a bad combination. After a bad few years, Africa has got its aviation and piloting issues largely sorted out, so why can't these Sub Continent muppets do the same? 

Edited by Pilotman
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Posted (edited)
On 8/8/2020 at 3:08 PM, phantomfiddler said:

Having read an article a few years ago stating that 40% of indian pilots were flying commercial passenger jets on forged qualifications, I am amazed that this sort of thing does not happen more often 🙂 and let,s face it, surely this practice is not going to be confined to pilot,s licences ! Does anyone know the name of Delhi,s equivalent of Khaosan Road ?

What that article stated may be true (or it may not be). However, according to a PPRuNe comment with a photo, this particular pilot was highly qualified and even a picture of him with his female partner was posted with the comment. Even the best can make mistakes. Ref: HERE [link] and HERE [link]. No, I don't know Delhi's equivalent of KSR (and don't even want to). 😁

 

 

Edited by MaxYakov

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Air India is off my list then. 

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