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How the AI aircraft plunged into the valley

By Vicky Nanjappa
Last updated on: May 22, 2010 21:09 IST
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The death toll has now officially risen to 159, even as search operations continue in the jungles nearby. as the confirmed sequence of events that eventually led to the air crash.

According to the notes prepared by the team investigating the air crash, the aircraft was set to land at 6.05 am and the visibility according to the Air Traffic Control was good.

However, the aircraft did not stop and crossed the runway spillover area of 90 metres.

In this process, it ploughed through sandbags and veered off.

The wing of the aircraft then hit a localiser, which functions as a landing aid for pilots, and was ripped off the aircraft's body.

Due to this, the aircraft plunged 300 metres down the cliff, and exploded after catching fire.

Preliminary investigations revealed that the pilot of the Dubai-Mangalore flight had overshot the runway by 300 metres.

A total 158 people have been killed in the crash. A total of 124 bodies have been identified so far.

It requires a lot of precision to land at the Mangalore airport since it has a table top runway and is located on top of a hill, officials said.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation will probe the incident and the real reason behind the crash will be known in a day or two.

PTI adds:

The US transportation and disaster management experts, along with officials from the Boeing, are rushing to India to join probe into the Mangalore air crash.

Officials of the USA National Transportation Safety Board, an independent federal agency having expertise in investigations into air accidents, are coming to help in the inquiry into the mishap, the external affairs ministry said.

The NTSB investigates every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in the other modes of transportation, conducts special investigations and safety studies, and issues safety recommendations to prevent future accidents.

A team from Boeing, whose 737 aircraft was involved in the crash, is also coming for the investigations.

Kenyon International Emergency Services, a company engaged in disaster management globally, is also sending its four-member team to help in rescue operations, Air India spokesperson Harpreet Singh said in Mumbai.

She said the firm has been provided with all information.

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Vicky Nanjappa