Air India 737 Hits Wall on Takeoff, Flies on for 4 Hours Before Making Emergency Landing
An Air India Boeing 737 hit an airport wall while taking off from Trichy Airport on Friday.
Air India Express Flight IX611 was traveling from Trichy (TRZ), also known as Tiruchirapalli, to Dubai (DXB) on Friday with 130 passengers and six crew members on board. The Boeing 737-800 taxied to the runway safely and took off at approximately 1:20am local time.
However, about four hours after departing, the crew made the decision to make an emergency landing in Mumbai (BOM). The reasoning? They had come to find out that the aircraft had clipped a wall as it was taking off.
According to a statement from Air India, airport officials observed that the aircraft "might have come in contact with the airport perimeter wall. It was decided to divert the aircraft to Mumbai as a precautionary measure." It isn't known at this point why the crew decided to fly on instead of returning immediately to TRZ. Air India Express is the low-fare subsidiary of India's state-owned airline.
A spokesperson for the airline told CNN that the plane was damaged but did not provide details regarding the extent of the damage.
The airline said also that it's reported the crash to India's aviation regulator and is "cooperating with the investigation." The airline also added that the two pilots, who have had a combined 6,500 hours of flying experience, have been grounded, pending investigation.
Aviation Safety Net reports that the 737 hit a localizer antenna array and a brick wall, which were located at the end of the runway. (The localizer is a part of the instrument landing system, or ILS, that tells pilots whether they are properly aligned with the runway.)