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  • Air India A320 floated before Jammu overrun

Air India A320 floated before Jammu overrun

Indian investigators have determined that an Air India Airbus A320 conducted a destabilised approach to Jammu and landed a third of the way down runway 36 before overrunning.

The aircraft (VT-ESL) dipped below the glideslope after descending past 500ft and reached maximum deviation at just 180ft, before it began to regain the approach path at 160ft.

When the aircraft started to flare at 55ft, its pitch increased from 2° to 6° nose-up before reducing to 3°.

The A320’s high pitch angle and prolonged flare led to the aircraft’s floating above the runway, at just 2ft for 4s, before it finally touched down – at 145kt – some 2,400ft along the 6,890ft runway.

Its nose-gear remained off the runway for a further 4s before contact.

The pilots had received an auto-brake fault message when they extended the landing-gear, and opted to apply maximum reverse-thrust and full manual braking after touchdown.

But the Indian air accident investigation board states that the captain “experienced lack of braking” and, in a bid to slow the aircraft, twice applied the parking brake during the roll-out.

The A320 nevertheless overran and came to a halt on rough ground, with its main landing-gear 24ft off the runway end. It stopped 53ft from a perimeter wall.

Investigators state that the aircraft involved had been modified to feature an unusual four-wheel main-gear bogie, distinct from the two-wheel assembly found on virtually all other operators’ A320s.

All four tyres – the right, then the left – on the forward axles of the bogies burst during the landing.

Weather conditions at the time of the approach and landing were good. None of the 137 passengers and six crew members was injured during the incident, on 9 June last year.

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