The aviation regulator, DGCA, on Tuesday suspended for a year the licence of an Air India Express pilot who overshot the runway while landing an aircraft at Mangalore airport on June 30, sources told news agency PTI. The flight IX-384 was coming from Dubai. "The final investigation by the regulator has found that the final approach of the B737 aircraft was 'unstabilised'.
The aircraft speed was high and it touched down late, around 900 metres (2,952 feet) from the threshold area of runway 24, which resulted in runway excursion and damage to the aircraft," a source added.
The threshold area is from where the runway strip begins. Next to threshold area is the touchdown zone, where the aircraft should touch down during landing. The source said the licence of the pilot, Captain Pravin Tumram, was suspended on Tuesday by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for a period of one year.
"The period of one year would be counted from the date of the incident," the source said. The airport had seen a similar incident on that very runway nine years ago involving an aircraft of the same airline. In May 22, 2010, an Air India Express flight, which was coming from Dubai airport to Mangalore airport, had overshot the runway 24, hit the boundary fence and fell into a gorge, killing 152 passengers and six crew members. There were only eight survivors in this crash.
A Court of Inquiry, established by the Centre had found that the cause of the 2010 incident was the pilot-in-command's failure to discontinue the 'unstabilised approach' and his persistence in continuing with landing, despite three calls from the First Officer to 'go around' and a number of warnings from enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS).
"The final touch down of the aircraft was at about 5200 ft (1584 metres) from the beginning of runway 24, leaving only about 2800 feet to the end of the paved surface, to stop the aircraft," the Court of Inquiry had found.
(With PTI inputs)