Why this plane crossed this road is a question Indian air safety investigators are pondering after 161 passengers and crew escaped serious injury in the Indian city of Goa on Tuesday.
The Jet Airways Boeing 737-800 was taking off for Mumbai at Goa’s Dabolim airport when it veered off the runway due to a problem while aligning for takeoff.
The Times of India reported that the plane spun around 360 degrees and another report said it was almost perpendicular to the runway edge when it crossed.
The Flight Safety Foundation’s Air Safety Network said the plane was making a 180-degree turn to align with the runway but it continued turning to the right.
“It moved forward and entered downsloping grass until it came to rest at the side of an airport perimeter road, 220 m (720ft) from the side of the runway and 7m below runway elevation,’’ the ASN website said, cautioning that the information was preliminary. “The nose landing gear collapsed and both engines contacted the ground”.
The passengers and crew evacuated safely using slides but 15 received minor injuries in the process.
“At Jet Airways the safety of our guests and crew is of paramount importance,’’ the airline said in a tweet. “ Our crew are well trained to manage such situations.”
The Indian Accident Investigation Bureau is investigating the incident.
Meanwhile, a Spicejet aircraft at the same airport found itself in conflict with another aircraft coming along a taxiway in the opposite direction.
The airline tweeted that the Spicejet crew stopped the aircraft and promptly informed air traffic control.