Updated: August 8, 2020 1:36:38 am
Data from a popular global flight tracker website shows that the Air India Express plane that skidded off the tabletop runway at Kerala’s Kozhikode airport appears to have attempted to land twice at the airport. At least 17 people, including the pilot, have been killed in the crash. The aircraft had 190 passengers onboard and many injured have been shifted to nearby hospitals.
Flightradar24, that tracks the flight in real-time, indicated that the aircraft tried to land twice at the tabletop airport. The data showed the plane looping around the airport before attempting to land. Survivors told local television channels that the aircraft went up and down many times before landing and the disaster occurred after the plane had clearly touched the runway.
Air India Express flight from Dubai carrying 170 people skidded off the runway in Kozhikode airport while landing; several injured
Preliminary images from the accident site show the aircraft split into two pieces, with debris all over the area, which is reportedly just below the runway. The incident happened when the flight — IX 1344 — was attempting to land at the airport around 7.40 pm amid heavy rainfall and fell off the runway, to a slip road 34 feet below.
Kozhikode airport has a tabletop runway which was carved out of a hillock. Runways at these airports, which are located on hilltops, create the optical illusion of being at the same level as the plains below when a pilot comes in for landing.
Mangaluru, which is also a tabletop airtop, witnessed a crash in 2010 in which 158 of the 166 onboard were killed. According to a court of inquiry report on the 2010 crash, prepared by former IAF vice-chief of air staff Air Marshal B N Gokhale and a team of experts, “these airfields require extra skill and caution while carrying out flight operations” due to “the undulating terrain and constraints of space”. “The hazard of undershooting and overshooting, in particular, can lead to grave situations,” the report said.
0495-2376901 (Helpline number for relatives of passengers); 0483-2719493 (Control room number at Kozhikode airport); 0097165970303 (Control room number at Sharjah airport in UAE); 009710565463903 (Control room number at Dubai airport); 009710543090572 (Control room number at Dubai airport)
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