Mangalore air crash: How it happened?

Updated: May 22, 2010 19:18 IST

In one of the country's worst aviation disaster, an Air India Express flight from Dubai to Mangalore crashed while landing at the Mangalore airport at 6:05 am on Saturday. A Boeing 737-800, the aircraft, with 166 people on board, overshot the runway and crashed into the valley before bursting into flames. The crash killed 158 people and left eight survivors.

Mangalore air crash: How it happened?
In one of the country's worst aviation disaster, an Air India Express flight from Dubai to Mangalore crashed while landing at the Mangalore airport at 6:05 am on Saturday. A Boeing 737-800, the aircraft, with 166 people on board, overshot the runway and crashed into the valley before bursting into flames. The crash killed 158 people and left eight survivors.

The pilot-in-command, Z Glucia was an experienced pilot with 10,000 hours of flying experience and had 19 landings at the Mangalore airport. Co-pilot S S Ahluwalia with 3000 hours of flying experience had as many as 66 landings at this airport.

According to sources, the pilots did not report any malfunction to the Airport Traffic Control (ATC), before landing at the Mangalore Airport. Here's a look at the crash site at Bajpe, about 20 km from Mangalore and 350 km from the state capital Bangalore.
Mangalore air crash: How it happened?
The ‘table-top' Mangalore airport is considered tricky for aircraft landings and take offs, particularly in the rainy season.
Mangalore air crash: How it happened?
The runway is on top of a hill and surrounded by deep gorges that are just 30 metres from the runway.
Mangalore air crash: How it happened?
There are tropical forests on the three sides of the mountain.
Mangalore air crash: How it happened?
Aviation experts say the airport leaves no room for error as it does not have an overshoot area, which means that if a pilot makes a mistake and lands too far down the runway, it could lead to a disaster.
Mangalore air crash: How it happened?
Facts pieced together from information trickling in and pending an official inquiry tell us that the landing approach of the fateful aircraft, early on Saturday morning at the Mangalore airport, was reportedly normal and the pilot reported to ATC 10 miles from touchdown.
Mangalore air crash: How it happened?
The AI Express plane was given landing clearance 4 miles from touchdown.
Mangalore air crash: How it happened?
The Air Traffic Control (ATC) saw the plane approaching and the entry to the runway was normal.
Mangalore air crash: How it happened?
There was a slight drizzle at the time, but the runway was not wet, and visibility was good.
Mangalore air crash: How it happened?
The trouble began when the aircraft landed beyond touchdown zone and overshot the runway. It is a table top runway with a cliff just beyond.
Mangalore air crash: How it happened?
The pilot tried to stop by hard-braking, the tyres burst.
Mangalore air crash: How it happened?
Survivors report hearing a loud noise, possibly a tyre burst.
Mangalore air crash: How it happened?
The plane veered and hit the concrete base of an antenna at the edge of the runway. A wing broke.
Mangalore air crash: How it happened?
The plane moved towards the cliff, split on the edge and fell into the valley.
Mangalore air crash: How it happened?
Survivors were thrown out at the edge of the tarmac and some got stuck in overhead cables.
Mangalore air crash: How it happened?
The plane then burst into flames, killing 158 people on board.

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