One hundred and fifty passengers and crew on board Jet Airways Doha-Kochi flight 9W555 had a narrow escape when the aircraft made a “full emergency” landing on the seventh attempt at Trivandrum.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended two Jet Airways pilots and ordered a probe into the August 18 incident wherein the pilots did six “go-arounds” before landing with minimum fuel.
The pilots made three attempts to land at Kochi but due to bad weather and heavy rain the runway wasn’t visible, said a DGCA official. “The aircraft should have been diverted to the nearest airport, which in this case was Bengaluru that is 15 minutes away. However, for some strange reason, the pilots decided to fly to Trivandrum that is over an hour away from Kochi,” he said.
At Trivandrum too, the weather was bad and the pilots did three go-arounds. However, with fuel running out, an emergency was declared at the Trivandrum airport as the Jet flight landed.
At the time of landing, the Boeing 737 aircraft had only 270 kg fuel left. “This was a serious incident. We have ordered a review of the airline’s fuel uplift policy to examine whether it was carrying less fuel to save costs. According to rules, an aircraft should have 1300-1500 kg of holding fuel when it lands to meet an emergency situation,” the official added.
“Even a 10 minute taxiing of a Boeing 737-800 burns 270-kg of fuel,” said a source.