Air India Express plane accident: Pilot error caused mishap at Andhra airport

By Livemint

A team of officials from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) visited the Vijayawada Airport at Gannavaram on Tuesday and conducted a preliminary probe into the freak accident involving an Air India Express Boeing aircraft here on February 20.

Pilot error caused the mishap in which the Boeing aircraft suffered minor damage on its right-wing after it hit an electric pole while taxiing on the runway, sources told news agency PTI. A Canadian woman pilot commanded the flight when the mishap occurred, the report added.

The flight landed at the airport at Gannavaram from Doha, en route Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu, when the mishap occurred, but all 64 passengers aboard were safe.

“The DGCA team launched a preliminary investigation into the accident and is probing various aspects. It has also inspected the damaged aircraft and spoke at length with the Canadian pilot,” the sources said but refused to divulge more details as “these things are confidential”.

The DGCA team is expected to continue its task on Wednesday as well.

Of the 64, 19 passengers were to disembark at Vijayawada while the rest were bound for Tiruchirappalli.

One of the passengers, Reshma of Nidadavole, said it was a happy landing finally though there was a bit of panic when there was a sudden jerk during taxiing.

“By God’s grace there was nothing untoward. The airlines staff said the mishap was only minor, which came as a big relief to us,” another passenger Varalakshmi of Kakinada said.

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