Images: Tahun Sukla
Air India Express, Boeing 737-800, hit the localizer antenna on takeoff from Tiruchirappalli International Airport, in South India.
flight IX611 with 130 passengers and 6 crew members bound for Dubai hit the localizer antenna and a brick wall on flat takeoff at 01:18 local time. The flight climbed to FL360 and proceeded towards Dubai as pilot in command reported that the aircraft systems were operating normally.
As a precautionary measure, the flight was diverted to Mumbai as it was flying well over Arabian sea, and landed safely at 5.35a.m.
The aircraft’s underbelly was severely damaged and was later declared fit for operations after inspection at Mumbai Airport.
Air India express said in a statement “The pilot in command was Capt. D. Ganesh Babu who has flying experience on the B 737 aircraft of 3600 hours including about 500 hours as Commander. The matter has been duly reported to the DGCA and the Airline is fully cooperating with the investigation.”