Crashed Indian 737 touched down 'slightly' long: ministry

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Indian authorities have recovered the cockpit-voice recorder of an Air India Express Boeing 737-800 that crashed in southern India on 22 May, but are still searching for the flight-data recorder.

The CVR "is expected to yield the desired information" even though it was burnt in the crash, says India's civil aviation ministry.

Analysis of the CVR and other records will take about a fortnight, says the ministry, which has started an inquiry into the incident. An Air India team will assist India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation with the inquiry.

The 737-800, registration VT-AXV, crashed and burst into flames at Mangalore International Airport in the southern state of Karnataka after it overshot the runway while landing.

There were 160 passengers and six crew members on the aircraft, which had departed from Dubai. Only eight people survived the crash, says the ministry.

ai express 737

"[The] aircraft touched down at runway 24 slightly beyond the touchdown zone, overshot the runway and went in the valley beyond the runway," says the ministry. Landing clearance was given by air traffic controllers at about four miles from touchdown, it adds.

The 737-800 was acquired in the last quarter of 2007 and "had no history of defects and malfunction", says the ministry.

Weather conditions at the time of landing were "normal", it adds. Visibility was 6km, there were calm winds and it was not raining.

The flight's captain had 10,200 hours of flying experience and had last flown from Mangalore in November 2009, says the ministry. The co-pilot was based at Mangalore and had 3,650 hours of flying experience, of which 3,350 hours were on 737 aircraft, it adds.

Both flight crew died in the incident.

Authorities say the instrument landing system at the runway was "operating normally" at the time of the incident. "No problem was reported by the pilot," says the ministry.

Mangalore's 2,450m-long runway has a runway end safety area of 90m. "This runway was commissioned in 2006 and remained operational since then," says the ministry.