Mangalore - A pilot error may be the cause of the worst plane crash in India for more than ten years have been. The Boeing 737-800 of Air India on Saturday shot out into Mangalore on the runway, crashed down a cliff and burst into flames. 158 people were killed, eight passengers survived.
The weather and visibility conditions at the time of landing were "completely normal" was, India's aviation minister Praful Patel said on Monday the television station CNN-IBN. Human error can not be excluded. Further evidence is now to bring the analysis of the black box, which was recovered on Sunday.
The landing in Mangalore is challenging. The Bajpe airport is located about 30 kilometers outside the city on a high plateau. If the machine after putting in time comes to a standstill, a catastrophe, according to experts, almost inevitable.
The engine of the Air India Express, a budget subsidiary of national carrier Air India, was from Dubai. On board were 160 passengers - without exception Indians - and six crew members.
Million Indians earn their living in the United Arab Emirates and other Middle East countries. Most of the passengers of the accident machine wanted to start the holiday season back home. Some were no longer at home for years, as a father of two Koolikkunnu Krishnan, who survived the crash landing.
undertaken after the touchdown on the runway at first everything worked quite normal, "said Krishnan. Suddenly, the machine is but one side to the other wavered, then I crashed it. "The people screamed, children cried aloud," said the 45-year-old. The machine broke, fire and smoke spread. Somehow he managed to open his belt and climb out of the wreckage, said Krishnan.
The eight survivors were sitting in the middle of the machine, that is, where the Boeing fell apart. They managed to get to the last second to safety before a fireball engulfed the plane. The other occupants had no chance.
Among the dead was the pilot. According to the Indian Interior Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, the man had more than 10,000 hours of flight experience and was already 26 times landed in Mangalore. Employees of the Serbian airline JAT said, that killed pilots if it were a 55-year-old Serb with a British passport, had previously worked for JAT.
The plane crash was the worst in India since November 1996. At that time, the collision of a Saudi Arabian machine were killed with a cargo plane from Kazakhstan 349 people. (APA)