'Delayed touchdown led to plane crossing runway'
New Delhi: Delayed touchdown, caused by bad weather and a wet runway, was the prime reason for an Alliance Air plane to overshoot the runway at Kanpur's Chakeri airport last year, a DGCA probe has found.
None among the 55 passengers or four crew members on board the Canadian Regional Jet CRJ-700 were hurt when the plane crossed the runway and rolled over into the soft ground.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation, after an inquiry into the July 20, 2011 incident, said the aircraft hovered over for about 20 minutes as air traffic control (ATC) reported thunderstorm and high-speed winds.
Once ATC clearance was granted as the weather improved, the pilots, who were "appropriately qualified to operate the flight", resorted to a VOR (VHF omnidirectional radio range) and Instrumentation Landing System (VOR-ILS) approach to land. This means that landing would be carried out with the help of signals emanating from the ground-based radio and the ILS.
However, while landing, the aircraft floated on the 9,000 feet runway due to heavy cross and tail winds and made a delayed touchdown past the centre-marker on the wet runway. Thereafter, it overshot the overrun area and entered the soft ground, the report said.
"No emergency was declared. There was no fire. There were no injuries to any of the occupants on the aircraft," but the aircraft's right wing hit the localizer antenna and punctured a hole on the edge, it said.
After bringing the plane to a complete halt, assistance was sought by the pilots and the passengers were deplaned normally, it said.
In the report, the aviation regulator recommended that the policy to allow a 'go around' by an aircraft should be revised and rules of pilot training and operations amended, to make it "non-punitive". A 'go around' is carried out after a landing approach fails and another attempt is made to land.
DGCA also recommended, among other things, that airlines should lay down less 'Cross Wind/Tail Wind limits' than what is suggested by the aircraft manufacturers.