‘Over-speeding would have led AI flight to slide’

The Air India Express flight between Dubai and Mangaluru that is at the centre of a probe.

An in-depth probe was begun on Monday into the circumstances that led the Air India flight to veer from the tarmac and land on uneven ground at the Mangalore International Airport on Sunday.

Officials from Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and Air India Express began the probe.

A preliminary investigation by officials revealed that over-speeding might have caused the Air India Express flight (IX 384) to slip and veer onto the uneven ground. The Dubai-Mangaluru flight was carrying 83 passengers and crew.

Mangalore International Airport (MIA) Director V V Rao, however, refused to respond to calls.

Sources in Air India Express told DH that the aircraft has been towed away to the nearest hanger. “As there were minimum damages, the aircraft will be airborne within two days,” the sources said and added that the flight operations have remained unaffected as they had continued to operate flights between India and Dubai with a spare aircraft.

District In-charge Minister U T Khader, meanwhile, said that the DGCA should not take the incident lightly. “The DGCA should reveal whether the incident happened due to the fault of pilot, the aircraft or the airport,” the minister insisted.

Khader also contacted the top officials and made a similar appeal to them.

He said the DGCA should accord high priority to passenger safety and ensure that such incidents do not recur at the Mangalore airport.

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