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Centre sets up panel to probe Air India Express aircraft crash

Wreckage of Air India Express flight at Kozhikode International Airport in Karipur on Saturday. 18 people including two pilots lost their lives when the Dubai-Kozhikode Air India flight (IX-1344) crash landed at Kozhikode International Airport on Friday night. (ANI Photo)Premium
Wreckage of Air India Express flight at Kozhikode International Airport in Karipur on Saturday. 18 people including two pilots lost their lives when the Dubai-Kozhikode Air India flight (IX-1344) crash landed at Kozhikode International Airport on Friday night. (ANI Photo)

An Air India Express flight, from Dubai, crashed after overshooting the runway at Kozhikode International Airport in Kerala on 7 August night, killing 18 people and injuring scores

NEW DELHI : The Airport Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) has formed a team to investigate the Air India Express plane crash at Kozhikode airport and determine the cause of the accident, the bureau said on Thursday.

The flight from Dubai crashed after overshooting the runway at the airport in Kerala on the night of 7 August, killing 18 people and injuring others.

The AAIB, which falls under the civil aviation ministry, has appointed Captain S.S. Chahar, former designated examiner on Boeing 737NG, as chief investigator. Operations expert Ved Prakash; senior aircraft maintenance engineer, Boeing 737, Mukul Bhardwaj; aviation medicine expert Y.S. Dahiya, and AAIB deputy director Jasbir Singh Larhga will also be part of the team. The chief investigator will submit its report to AAIB within 5 months from the issue of the order.

The team will also give recommendations to avoid such accidents in future. “The investigator in-charge may take the assistance of other experts and agencies whenever required," AAIB said in its order.

Mint had earlier reported that the crash at the Kozhikode airport has brought tabletop runways under the spotlight. A similar accident at the Mangalore tabletop airport in 2010 killed 158 people. Landing aircraft on tabletop runways, which are located on top of a hill or a plateau with deep gorges running down their sides, is a stiff task in poor weather conditions. The slightest lapse in such conditions can lead to fatal crashes.

The airport at Kozhikode has two runways, both 2,700 metres in length. They have a safety feature called runway end safety area (RESA) of 240 metres, as mandated by the International Civil Aviation Organization, which limit the consequences when aeroplanes overrun the end of a runway.

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