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  • Writer's pictureAvaitors Maldives

An update in to the Air India Express Flight 1344 crash.

On August 07th, 2020 An Air India Express Boeing 737-800, registration VT-AXH performing COVID-19 repatriation flight IX-1344 from Dubai, United Arab Emirates to Kozhikode, India with 184 passengers and 6 crew, landed at Kozhikode's runway 10 but went past the runway end safety area (150meter/500 feet) and fell into a valley at 19:41L (14:11Z) coming to a stop about 100 feet below the runway and about 245 meters/800 feet past the runway end. 18 people including both pilots died in the accident. 138 passengers received injuries of varying degrees with 15 of them in critical condition.

On Aug 9th, 2020 India's Aviation Ministry reported that according to testimony by the tower controller the aircraft did not touch down until abeam taxiway C and anticipated the aircraft might overrun the runway and therefore instructed emergency services to enter the runway and follow the aircraft. When he did not see the aircraft at the runway end, he activated the crash button, tower instructed the emergency services to look down into the valley. The minister added also, that the aircraft had still sufficient fuel on board to divert to their alternate aerodrome and land there with more than minimum fuel required.

Taxiway Charlie is about 1,030 meters/ 3,380 feet past the runway threshold. The full length of the airport runway is 2,860 meters: 9,383 feet. Looking at the picture, the power levers remain in an advanced position, spoilers are in the retracted position and the flap is selected down. This could be an indication that the crew may have tried to attempt a go-around after touching down on the runway. According to the Boeing 737 flight crew training manual, a Go-Around is not allowed after selection of reverse thrust as “if an engine stays in reverse, a safe flight is not possible”.

A passenger seated in the aft cabin reported that following the go around the aircraft positioned for another approach and touched down, however, the aircraft did not appear to slow down but to accelerate again. After touchdown the aircraft overshot the end of the runway and went down the cliff, all of that happened within 15 seconds.

Ten years ago a similar accident took place by the same airline in the same aircraft. Air India Express flight IX-812 from Dubai, UAE on the Boeing 737-800 to Mangalore, India with 160 passengers and 6 crew, overran the runway while landing on Mangalore's runway 24 at 06:05L (00:35Z), the aircraft hit the localizer antenna, went through an airport fence and down a steep embankment into a ravine. The airplane burst into flames, 8 survivors were taken to local hospitals with varying degrees of injuries, 158 occupants perished in the crash.

During this crash, after the aircraft touch down way passed the runway threshold, the captain applied reverse thrust and then applied go-around power in order to lift off again however the airplane crashed before it could get airborne again. From the likes of it there could be a possibility that this may have likely happened too during flight 1344. However many factors could have applied and we cannot determine anything until further investigation is taken place with evidence.

Source: Avherald



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