The six-seater plane that crash-landed at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) would have caught fire had it not moved to the mud on the left side of the runway. Sources in the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), who inspected the site, said that the plane skidded at least 1 km after landing at runway 27 of the Delhi airport.
"Had it skidded for another 100 metre, it would have caught fire. Luckily the plane didn't topple despite skidding for 1,000 metres and moved to the left side in the grass and mud," a senior DGCA official, requesting anonymity said. DGCA has asked the airport authority in Lucknow to find out whether the maintenance was done there before it took off for Delhi."The investigations are at preliminary stage and it is difficult to say what led to the incident. The weather was perfectly fine and has nothing to do with accident. Pilots, who are on deputation from Indian Air Force (IAF), are being questioned," the officer further said.
Sources said that plane's landing gear had developed a snag and couldn't open properly. As soon as the plane landed, the landing gear broke off and soon rear wheels came out, forcing the plane to travel on nose wheel.
"Since the plane travelled on the runway on nose-wheel, the belly of the plane also touched the runway and eyewitnesses saw sparks due to the friction between the plane's fuselage and the ground. However, soon the plane moved aside, which saved everyone. Had the plane continued moving straight, it would have caught fire or crashed into the boundary wall," the source further said. Officials are also inspecting whether the brakes of the plane were working properly or not.
"The pilots are claiming that after landing, they lost control over the plane. A report will be submitted to senior officers soon," added the officer.