On 11th September 2018, pilots of the Air India’s flight AI-101, from Delhi to New York, were caught in a nightmarish situation. Multiple system failures, bad weather conditions and low fuel made it a struggle for the pilots which were supposed to land the airplane in New York’s JFK Airport.
The flight was in a very bad situation however, the two pilots and an Air Traffic Control (ATC) operator were able to overcome this situation and saved the lives of 370 passengers onboard.
Here are all the details about the incident:
- Air India’s Senior Commander Mr. Rustom Palia and Second-in-Command, Captain Sushant Singh, reported to the ATC operator at JFK Airport that the flight experienced multiple system failure while approaching the airport for landing.
- Apart from these, the flight also witnessed the malfunctioning of all three of its Instrument Landing System (ILS) receivers on board. This meant that the pilot of the aircraft needed to manually land the flight.
- They had to abort landing at JFK and spent close to one and a half hours in the air, trying to figure out to land at an airport in New York or a nearby city with good visibility.
- Running low on fuel, they quickly needed a decent chance of sighting a runway early enough to make approach due to the failed ILS.
- After help from the ATC tower operator they weighed various options to solve that situation and decided to land at Newark Airport.
- The AI pilots skillfully managed to land the airplane safely, 38 minutes after hovering over JFK Airport.
According to reports, the Air India’s B777 aircraft had flown over 36,985 hours and had been in service for almost 9 years. While the incident was transpiring, there was panic among passengers as the aircraft managed to land.
A pilot can fly an aircraft without the onboard navigation system, however, the accuracy often suffers.
Mr Palia and Mr. Singh defied all the odds and used their experience and skills, with the help of the ATC operator, to avoid a disaster situation and saved the lives of all passengers.
Air India has set up an inquiry on aircraft and constituted an internal inquiry under the airline’s ‘Flight Safety Department’.