A team of officials from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) visited the Vijayawada Airport at Gannavaram on Tuesday and conducted a preliminary investigation into the accident involving an Air India Express Boeing aircraft on February 20.
Official sources said pilot error caused the accident in which the Boeing aircraft suffered a minor damage on its right wing after it hit an electric pole while taxiing on the runway.
According to PTI, a Canadian woman pilot commanded the flight when the accident occurred. The aircraft had landed from Doha, en-route Tiruchirappalli. All 64 passengers aboard were safe.
DGCA Team Visits Site
“The DGCA team launched a preliminary investigation into the accident and is probing various aspects. It has also inspected the damaged aircraft and spoke at length with the Canadian pilot,” the sources said but refused to divulge more details as “these things are confidential.”
The DGCA team is expected to continue its task on Wednesday as well.
Airport director, G Madhusudan Rao was quoted by ANI as saying, “An Air India flight coming from Doha met with a minor accident at Vijayawada International Airport in Gannavaram today. All passengers are safe. When the flight was about to land, its wing hit a light pole. The light pole broke and fell down. The flight wing is slightly damaged. This incident happened at 16.54 IST.”
Rama Reddy, one of the passengers who had boarded from Doha said he felt a small jerk during landing. “There was a small jerk and we passengers felt nothing except that jerk. The pilot was alert. Nothing happened to anybody,” he was quoted by news agencies as saying.
Of the 64, 19 passengers were to disembark at Vijayawada while the rest were bound for Tiruchirappalli.
Another passenger, Reshma of Nidadavole, said it was a happy landing finally though there was a bit of panic when there was a sudden jerk during taxiing. “By God’s grace there was nothing untoward. The airlines staff said the mishap was only minor, which came as a big relief to us,” another passenger Varalakshmi of Kakinada was quoted as having said.