Karipur flight crash: AI Express had a hard landing on runway


V. Krishnanand

The pilot performed the hard landing to avoid hydroplaning, in which a layer of water builds between the wheels of the aircraft and the runway surface.

Karipur: The Air India Express flight that crashed at the international airport here last Friday had a hard landing. Such landings are undertaken to avoid loss of traction while hitting a wet surface. It is learned that the team of experts who visited the airport are of this opinion.

A hard landing occurs when an aircraft or spacecraft hits the ground with a greater vertical speed and force than in a normal landing. During a hard landing, the tyres of the aircraft will hit the runway very hard.



The pilot performed the hard landing to avoid hydroplaning, in which a layer of water builds between the wheels of the aircraft and the runway surface. However, the flight touched down near the middle of the runway as the pilot was under vertical illusion. This occurs when rain causes the pilot to think that the runway is longer than it actually is.

The pilot tried to use reverse thrust from the engines to stop the aircraft but in vain. Sensing the danger, the pilot then tried to revert to full normal thrust and take off once again. However, it took two minutes of time for the aircraft’s engines to revert to normal thrust from reverse trust which led to the accident.

Captain D. V. Sathe had landed aircrafts at the Karipur airport 27 times. Among them, 6 have been on runway 10 from where he landed on the fateful day. The accident had claimed 18 lives including that of two pilots and injured over 100 people.

The investigation team evaluated that the pilot had not turned off the aircraft’s engines. The team received clues in this regard after inspecting the cockpit. The engines could have automatically turned off as the flight skidded off the runway and entered a canal.

The Vande Bharat Mission aircraft had slid on its belly and crashed into the compound wall on the belt road surrounding the airport. It remains to be seen if the aircraft suffered any technical problems.

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