Plane Crash Kills 158 People at Indian Airport
Plane Crash In India
A plane crash in India has killed 158 people and injured 8 more when an Air India Express flight overshot the runway at Mangalore Airport on 22nd May 2010.
The Boeing 737 plane crashed just after landing when it overshot the runway before falling into the valley below. An Air India spokesperson confirmed that all passengers were Indian nationals.
Plane crash investigators include a team from Boeing and a team from the US National Transportation Safety Board who are looking to determine what caused the crash. Air India Express is the low-cost wing of national airline Air India.
So far evidence shows that the pilot tried to abort the landing of the plane. The voice recorder in the cockpit contains the pilot’s final exchanges which support this theory and the throttle was also found to be in the forward position, suggesting that he may have tried to stop the landing. The 'black box' recorder that contains data from the flight is still missing.
According to Indian aviation officials the conditions for landing were good with no visibility problems and there were no signals that the flight was in distress.
Survivors of the plane crash have reported a thudding noise when the plane touched down and have likened it to a tyre bursting.
The runway at Mangalore airport has been described as challenging for pilots due to its positioning. The airport is on top of a hill plateau, with a sharp drop into a valley at the end of the runways – which is where the plane crashed.
One of the runways at the airport is long enough for a Boeing 737 plane to land but only has a short 'spillover area' at the end of it, which means that any errors in calculating a landing could result in the plane overrunning into the valley.
As well as the passengers the plane was staffed by a two man crew, an Indian and a Serbian national, who also had British citizenship.
There have been some complaints from Indian pilots who have called for more thorough checks on foreign pilots but Air India has spoken out about the pilot of the 737 saying that he had a good record and had previously flown to Mangalore on 19 different occasions.
The plane that crashed is the same model that was involved in an Ethiopian Airlines plane crash in January which killed everyone on board after taking off from Beirut. It's also the same model that was involved in a plane crash in Cameroon in 2007, which killed 114 people.
Clive Garner, an in aviation law at Irwin Mitchell, said: "It is terrible to see yet another aviation tragedy with such a terrible loss of life. It is too soon to say what caused the Air India Express plane to crash although investigations are already underway to determine what went wrong.
"Our thoughts are with the survivors and relatives of the victims at what must be a terrible time for them.
"The families of those who lost their lives and those who survived will want to understand fully how this happened.
"Airlines must follow strict safety standards at all times and should not allow passenger safety to be compromised.
"We act for people who lost loved ones and are claiming compensation following the other Boeing 737 crashes in Beirut and Cameroon, and we will be investigating to determine if there are any factors in common between all three incidents."
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