'Incorrect' flight path could have caused crash: AAI official

  • K Ramnath Shenoy, PTI, Mangalore
  • Updated: May 23, 2010 14:07 IST

An "incorrect" flight path could have caused the crash of the Air India Express aircraft from Dubai at Bajpe airport in Mangalore, a senior Airport Authority of India official said.

The official, who visited the crash site, told PTI, "An incorrect flight path could have been a possible reason for Saturday's mishap."

The official, who refused to be identified, was called in to assist in the investigations into the crash, which killed all but eight of 166 people on board. The plane overshot the runway, veered off and plunged into a ravine before bursting into flames.

Speaking to reporters after visiting the crash site yesterday, Union Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel had said the aircraft did not contain itself within the limited space on touchdown and overshot the spillover area on the runway.

He had also stated that the runway was operationally compliant and technically fit for operating an aircraft of Boeing 737-800 series and the plane was just two-and-a-half years old with no history of defects or malfunctioning.

Patel had also said visibility was sufficient, the runway dry and the two pilots, including the commander, an expatriate from Serbia, had good flying experience.

The minister had, however, refused to comment on whether the accident was a result of pilot error and said he would await the report of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, which is inquiring into the disaster.

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