October 20, 2003
A preliminary probe into an incident at Mumbai airport in which an Indian Airlines (IA) plane entered a runway at the same time as an Air Sahara aircraft has pinned the blame on brake failure.
The initial inquiry by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) indicates that IA’s IC-107 Mumbai-Bangalore flight, while waiting to take-off, went out of control as it entered the active runway due to parking brake failure. At the same time, an Air Sahara plane had landed on the same runway from the opposite end.
Despite the fact that the IA pilot was told to wait short of the runway in Taxiway D as the Air Sahara plane was cleared for landing, the IA pilot could not stop the plane from entering the active runway due to a technical snag, said sources. Eventually, the IA aircraft went off the runway and got mired in mud.
Though it’s been two weeks since the incident, the IA pilot involved has not been allowed to resume flying duties. Now the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) is demanding speedy completion of the inquiry so that the pilot can resume work. ‘‘We are awaiting the full inquiry report as we want Capt K. Nagrath, to fly again,’’ said general secretary of ICPA, Capt A.G. Sharma.
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