INDIA: 4 Accidents In 2 Days - What went wrong?

Updated: Jul 10, 2019

Four runway accidents occurred within 48 hours in India when four passenger aircraft suffered a few minor accidents at three different airports. On top of that, an Air India flight suffered a tail strike.

First Incident, Air India Express, Veers Off Runway At Mangalore

An Air India Express flight bearing the flight number IX384, veered off the runway and onto the grass at Mangalore International Airport at approximately 6pm on Sunday. The flight was operated using a Boeing 737-800 which flew from Dubai to Mangalore with 183 passengers and six crew members. According to FlightAware, the aircraft performed a go-around and landed on the second attempt. The aircraft skidded when the pilot was turning out of the runway onto the taxiway.

In 2010, a separate incident involving a Boeing 737-800 occurred, during which the aircraft overshot the runway and plunged down a gorge at the end of it, killing 158 people on board.

Second Incident, SpiceJet, Veers Off Runway At Surat

A SpiceJet flight, bearing the flight number SG3722, veered off the runway at Surat International Airport at approximately 8pm on Sunday. The aircraft skidded off the runway due to heavy rainfall and wind, according to SpiceJet officials. All 43 passengers and four crew members were safe. The crash caused Surat Airport to shut down and three flights had to be diverted to Ahmadabad.

Third Incident, Air India Express, Tail Strike Upon Landing

An Air India Express flight bearing the flight number IX382 had a tail strike upon touchdown at Kozhikode, India. The flight was operated by a Boeing 737-800 with nearly 190 people on board. Fortunately, no one was hurt. The aircraft came to a stop safely after the tail strike upon landing at Kozhikode at approximately 9:15am.

Despite suffering a tail strike, the aircraft was used on a flight from Kozhikode to Sharjah 2 hours later.

Fourth Incident, SpiceJet Flight Skids Off Runway At Mumbai

A SpiceJet flight bearing the flight number SG6237, operated by a Boeing 737-800, skidded off the runway at Mumbai International Airport. The flight forced Mumbai International Airport to close their main runway. Besides the closure of the main runway, many flights were diverted to other airports. Korean Air flight 655 from Seoul to Mumbai, Lufthansa flight 756 and Air India flight 331 were among the flights that diverted to either Ahmadabad or Bengaluru.

Earlier today (July 5), the Spicejet aircraft stuck on the runway, was removed from its position. Photo: ANI on Twitter

What Happened?

It is currently the monsoon season in India, bringing heavy rainfall over India. The rainfall can last from as short as a few hours to days or weeks long depending on the weather. Thus, airline officials and investigators are pointing to bad weather that caused the 4 incidents.

Three Indian carriers, Air India, SpiceJet and IndiGo have offered a full waiver on cancellation or date changing charges for flights departing on the 2 July, 2019 and 3 July, 2019. This announcement came after flights were diverted from Mumbai to nearby airports following the incident at Mumbai involving the SpiceJet Boeing 737.

Heavy rains and bad weather also play apart in diversion of flights to nearby airports like Ahmadabad and Hyderabad. Strong winds caused many flights to go-around and eventually diverting to other airports after several attempts to land at Mumbai.

In total, 52 flights were cancelled and 54 flights were diverted away from Mumbai as heavy rain pours over Mumbai today.

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