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Kozhikode plane crash: Civil aviation expert explains difficulty in landing on table top runways

As unfortunate news from the Kozhikode plane crash keeps pouring in, the latest being an increase in the death toll to 18, a civil aviation expert has explained how tabletop runways are always difficult to land on, and why the flight should have been diverted to another airport.

Zee News caught up with Sanat Kaul a civil aviation expert and Chairman of International Foundation for Aviation, Aerospace and Development (IFFAD) to make sense of the unfortunate incident.

He said that apart from Kozhikode, there are two table-top airports in India, one in Mangalore and the other in Mizoram. Kaul said that there was a ‘tail wind’ while landing which caused the aircraft to overshoot the runway.

‘Tail wind’ means a push of air from the back of the aircraft, which forced the front wheels to stop a little further than where they should have and fell into a valley.

Moreover, he believes that the flight should have been diverted due to bad weather. He said that since there is no dearth of airports in Kerala, there are many runaways where the flight could have landed.

Kaul pointed out that it would be interesting to know the nature of the discussion between the pilot and air traffic control before attempting to land the plane on the runaway.

It is to be noted that the pilot had taken a round before circling back to stick the landing due to bad weather.

Air India Express Dubai-Kozhikode IX-1344 flight, carrying 190 people on board from Dubai under the Vande Bharat Mission, skidded off the runway at Karipur Airport in Kozhikode at 7:41 pm on Friday in which several people sustained injuries. It was carring 191 people on board.

The aircraft was broken into two parts but reportedly didn’t catch fire. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke to CM Vijayan regarding the situation.

The injured have been transferred to hospitals in Malappuram & Kozhikode

The deceased pilot has been identified as Deepak Vasant Sathe, a former Wing Commander in the Indian Air Force who retired from the service in 2003.

The Central and state authorities extended all possible help to conduct the rescue operations.