The Captain and the First Officer of the Indigo Airlines’ Airbus A320 that veered off the runway while landing at Bengaluru International Airport (BIA) on Thursday night will not be allowed to fly till the investigations are completed, sources in the commercial aviation business told The Hindu on Friday.
While the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) commenced its inquiry into the incident on Friday, the airline is also conducting its own inquiry, sources said.
The aircraft, which is less than a year old, with registration VT-IGV, remains parked at BIA. “Multiple assessments of various parameters would be conducted on the aircraft before it is redeployed. Preliminary repairs were conducted soon after the incident to enable the aircraft to be towed into the parking area,” a source said.
What went wrong?
On a rainy Thursday at 8.10 p.m., the flight from New Delhi with 110 passengers and six crew members veered off runway 27 and damaged five edge lights. The runway had to be shut down for more than two hours and several flights diverted, delayed or cancelled.
“At no point of time did the aircraft go out of the pilot’s control. It was a rough landing in tough weather conditions,” an Indigo source said.
A pilot, who landed at BIA about an hour before the incident, confirmed that the runway was damp and said he encountered “heavy cross winds”.
He suspects that the wet runway and the windy conditions may have contributed to the incident. Indigo, according to him, has tough landing protocol for the pilots. “The pilot should be ready with landing position at 1,500 ft and has to mandatorily align the aircraft to the centre of the runway at 1,000 ft.”
Visibility was not an issue on Thursday night, Bangalore International Airport source said. While visibility was 1,500 meters at the time of incident, the instrument landing system, CAT 1, which is deployed at BIA, supports landing at visibility greater than 500 m.
This is the second such incident after the BIA was inaugurated in May 2008. An Airbus 320 operated by the now grounded Kingfisher Airlines, coming from Kolkata via Hyderabad, skidded off the runway due to rain and winds in April 2009.