‘Blue Dart Aircraft not in centre of runway’ | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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‘Blue Dart Aircraft not in centre of runway’

The journey of the Blue Dart cargo flight BZ 201 at Mumbai started with one of scariest take-offs. Airport sources told Hindustan Times that the aircraft was not in the centre of the runway when it began rolling.

mumbai Updated: Jun 10, 2010 01:09 IST
Soubhik Mitra

The journey of the Blue Dart cargo flight BZ 201 at Mumbai started with one of scariest take-offs. Airport sources told Hindustan Times that the aircraft was not in the centre of the runway when it began rolling.

According to basic safety requirements, pilots should be on the centre of the runway for take-off and touchdown. By the time the pilots realised the error, the aircraft had knocked off 15 edge lights located on the left of the runway.

In a knee-jerk reaction the pilot steered the aircraft to the right but lost control and rammed into four more edge lights on the other end. Worse, the pilot flew to Bangalore without reporting the matter to the airport authorities. This exposed other flights to glass shards scattered across the runway which lead to tyre burst or other mishaps.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) suspects that the incident occurred while the commander was training the co-pilot. “It appears they lost control because the captain was testing the junior colleague in the cockpit,” said a DGCA official requesting anonymity.

The other cause of the incident could be a wet runway. The MIAL had shut the runway for five hours on Tuesday to prepare it for safe operations during monsoon. The incident occurred during peak traffic hours and left hundreds of travellers stranded. “With only one runway available there were long queues on the tarmac,” said an air traffic control official.