The ill-fated Air India Express aircraft that crashed at Kerala's Kozhikode airport in Kerala late Friday evening tried to land twice at the tabletop airport but aborted due to tailwind.
According to data from Flightradar24, which tracks flights in real-time, the plane looped around the airport before attempting to land. At that time, the Kozhikode International Airport was witnessing rainfall with a visibility of 2,000 metres.
The approach of the pilots was for runway 28 but as they found difficulties, they went around twice and came from the opposite side on runway 10 and the plane crash-landed at the airport.
No fire was reported during landing as the pilots switched off the aircraft's engines
Engines were shut off and the plane went down 35 feet into a slope before breaking up into two pieces.
Captain Deepak Sathe, the pilot-in-command, and his co-pilot Akhilesh Kumar were among those who died in yesterday's crash.
The AIE plane crash is the first major accident since the 2010 crash at Mangaluru airport. Kozhikode airport's runway is a tabletop runway that is surrounded by deep gorges on both sides. Tabletop runways are generally constructed by chopping off the top of a hill. They are known to be tricky for landings because of the lack of any margin for overshooting the runway.
Landing on tabletop runways requires a precision approach. Besides, a heavy downpour at Kozhikode airport could have worsened the situation for the plane to land. A runway that is subjected to heavy rainfall causes a layer of water to form over the surface that reduces friction and causes the plane to skid if the brakes are applied.
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