New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which is conducting a probe into Friday evening’s crash of the Air India Express Dubai-Kozhikode flight at the Kozhikode International Airport, on Sunday said that the black box of the ill-fated flight had been brought and kept at its office for examination. Also Read - Air India Express Crash: What Are Tabletop Runways And Challenges Posed by Them For Pilots?
Speaking to news agency ANI, the airline regulator’s Director General, Arun Kumar, stressed that only a ‘thorough and unbiased’ probe would tell what exactly happened, also inviting international aviation bodies to help the DGCA in its probe. Also Read - Air India Express Crash: Runway Friction Testing Not Done at Kerala Airport Before Landing, Says Report
“Soon we will have all transcripts from recovered black boxes. We are also going to talk to Boeing to examine aircraft’s original equipment and check for defects. Only after conducting a thorough and unbiased probe, can we tell what exactly happened”, he said. Also Read - Air India Express Crash: 'Flight Couldn't Land on Designated Runway', Says AAI Chief Arvind Singh
“Since it (Delhi) is an international airport, international aviation bodies are welcome to aid us in the investigation”, the DGCA chief further said.
Notably, the AI Express flight number IX1344 was operating under the ‘Vande Bharat’ Mission, when it skidded off the Kozhikode Airport’s tabletop runway, into a 35-feet gorge, splitting into two and killing 18 of 191 people on board.
The two pilots, both of whom are among the casualties, had tried to land the aircraft twice but failed to do so due to heavy rains. However, they have been praised for ensuring that the plane didn’t catch fire upon crash landing, thus saving hundreds of lives.
This is India’s worst aviation disaster since May 22, 2010, when another AI Express flight, also from Dubai, crashed at Mangalore’s Bajpe Airport under near-identical circumstances.