Air India Express Flight 812

by nph | June 4th, 2010

An astonishing 158 people lost their lives on Air India Express Flight 812 on Saturday, May 22. The flight carried 160 passengers—four of them infants—and six crewmembers; only eight survived. Air India Express Flight 812 took off from Dubai International Airport about three hours before it crashed around 6:30 a.m. in Mangalore, India.

According to Thaindian.com, Air India Director Anup Srivastava said that the Boeing 737-800 touched down briefly and crashed down a hill after it overshot the runway. Most of the aircraft was destroyed in the crash, after breaking into pieces and burning.

The New York Times reported that Kapil Kaul, the chief executive of India and the Middle East at the Center for Asia Pacific Aviation, suggested pilot error as the likely cause of the crash. Kaul explained that the pilot may have missed the landing threshold, which does not always result in a crash, but did because Mangalore Airport is on a plateau.

Nestled in the dense Western Ghats, or hills, of India’s southwestern coast, the Mangalore Airport is one India’s trickiest airports, according to The New York Times. The airport has a short runway, built on a plateau, and surrounded by cliffs.

Some Indian aviation safety experts have expressed concern about the country’s airlines, airports, and regulations. Last year alone three separate plane collisions occurred and a number of other incidents that could potentially spur new aviation policies.

The Indian government has set up a court of inquiry into the crash, which is scheduled to submit its report by the end of August, reported Livemint.com. This is only the second such panel of its kind, and civil aviation in Indian is taking several steps, including extra flight checks, to make sure safety regulations are met.

Sources:

“Eight survive Air India Express Flight 812 crash in Mangalore, 158 others die.” Thaindian News. May
2010. Accessed on 06/02/2010.

“Govt sets up court of inquiry into Mangalore plane crash.” Shukla, Tarun. Livemint.com & The
Wall Street Journal
. June 2010. Accessed on 06/02/2010.

“Scores Feared Dead in Plane Crash in India.” Polgreen, Lydia. The New York Times. May 2010. Accessed
on 06/02/2010.