Just two months after an Air India ground crew member was sucked into an aircraft engine and killed, a flight by Indian budget airline IndiGo nearly landed on a road because flight crew mistook it for a runway.
The incidents have been cited as symptomatic of problems plaguing Indian’s airline industry. IndiGo reportedly dismissed two pilots after they almost landed one of the carrier’s planes on a roadway earlier this year.
The IndiGo landing mistake happened in late February, the Wall Street Journal reported. The aircraft was about to land on a road that runs near Jaipur airport, which serves the capital of the Indian state of Rajasthan. The plane was just a couple of hundred metres in the air when pilots realised their error.
After a two-month investigation, Indigo suspended the pilots from duty.
India’s largest airline by passenger numbers, IndiGo took delivery recently of its first A320neo. The delivery made IndiGo the first A320neo operator in India and in Asia.
India’s aviation industry has struck a few problems in recent months, according to the Wall Street Journal. They include an emergency landing by an Air India plane after its cockpit windscreen cracked, a landing in Mumbai in which a carrier blew its tyres, and the tragic accident in which an Air India staffer was sucked into an aircraft engine.
Concerns about the safety of India’s aviation industry led the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to downgrade India’s status in early 2014, effectively prohibiting Indian airlines from adding new flights to the US. The FAA lifted India’s status in April 2015.
Written by Peter Needham