Karipur: The DGCA on initial inspection of the crash site is of the opinion that the plane had touched the runway at Tabletop Airport about a kilometer before the crash. The DGCA said the Boeing 737NG had stalled before landing on the runway, causing it to fall vertically and split in two.
The plane had already made several attempts to land but was unable to do so. The possibility of “Aquaplaning”, a phenomenon in which a layer of water acts like a skiboard causing the aircraft to skid in the runway is also considered. Torrential rains had drenched all of Kerala yesterday. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh said the aircraft had enough fuel for diversion and landing.
The Air India flight from Dubai to Kozhikode in Kerala had 191 passengers on board. Eighteen people were killed in the crash, including two pilots. Fortunately, the plane did not catch fire and the death toll was low, officials said.
V Muralidharan, Junior external affairs minister who hails from Kerala after visiting the site denied the criticisms on the condition of the runway. He said , “approximately 100 planes had landed at Kozhikode airport since May 7 as part of the ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ aimed at repatriating Indians stranded abroad”.Muralitharan also said that the Civil Aviation Minister had made it clear yesterday that previous reports on the runway situation had nothing to do with yesterday’s incident. There are currently two table top airports in South India (Kozhikode and Mangalore). However, the big question is whether to use them or not, said Muralitharan.