It’s been a rather alarming few months for airlines in India. Along with Jet Airways teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, there have been a number of “lucky” incidents which could’ve ended up much worse than they did. About a month ago passengers on a Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Jaipur were left with bleeding ears after the pilots forgot to pressurise the aircraft. At the start of September, an Air India aircraft was damaged during landing as it touched down on an unfinished runway. A month earlier a Jet Airways B737 attempted to take off from a taxiway adjacent to its assigned runway.
The latest incident to occur in the saga took place on Thursday 11th October. An Air India Express aircraft got into trouble during departure from Trichy (TRZ) airport in India. The aircraft was operating flight IX611 to Dubai. It appears as though the aircraft had trouble taking off, as it struck 5-foot wall around 1,000 ft from the end of the runway. According to reports, the crew of the aircraft were blissfully unaware of the damage that had been caused by the wall strike, as the aircraft continued to climb to around 36,000ft, flying for 3 hours. The airport operations staff reportedly made the crew aware of the impact, however, seeing that everything was normal on the instruments, they decided to continue the flight.
Looking at the aircraft’s recorded path, it seems apparent that the crew weren’t at all concerned with the potential damage caused to the aircraft as they elected to divert to Mumbai. At the point where they chose to divert, there were much closer airports available. This goes to show that the decision to divert to Mumbai was a tactical one as the airline’s parent company has a secondary hub in the city. It is possible that they elected to use Mumbai to save repair costs with in-house mechanics, however, it doesn’t look as though this will be a quick fix.
What does this mean?
As is usual in instances like this an investigation has been launched. The DGCA (India’s civil aviation authority) is also looking into the incident. As such both of the pilots have been suspended while an investigation is carried out. This is common practice while an investigation is carried out. Given that the pilots continued the flight, it could point to pilot error being the cause. This is due to the fact that the pilots reported their instruments showed nothing out of the ordinary.
What is particularly concerning is the sheer number of incidents which have been reported in the past few months. Especially given that most of these should have been avoidable, and could have ended up so much worse. Hopefully, the DGCA will take action before something much worse does happen.
What do you make of this latest incident? Let us know below!