Tell-a-Story flies you to the scariest runways in the world3 min readReading Time: 3 minutes
On August 7 last year, something very tragic took place, and no, we’re not talking about the pandemic. Amid the chaos Covid-19 had started to cause in India, the Air India Express Flight 1344, which was scheduled to land in Kozhikode, Kerala, crashed.
The flight, which was coming from Dubai, was part of the Vande Bharat Mission, bringing Indian nationals stranded abroad due to the pandemic, back home. That day saw heavy rain and tailwind, which forced the flight’s crew to abort two previous landing attempts at Calicut International Airport. On the third attempt, the aircraft touched down on runway 10, but skid off the end of the tabletop runway and slid down a slope of 30-35 ft. The accident caused the death of 21 passengers and both pilots. Four cabin crew members and 165 passengers survived, but a total of 100 people were left injured.
The runway this flight was supposed to land on is called a tabletop runway, meaning it is on top of a raised platform, like a hill, for example. The poor visibility due to the weather on that day, coupled with this tricky runway design, was essentially why this place crashed.
Owliver’s Obscure Observations
There are three tabletop runways in India — at the Mangalore International Airport in Karnataka, the Calicut International Airport in Kerala, and at the Lengpui Airport in Aizawl, Mizoram.
Aviation experts say to land on a tabletop runway takes skill and precision, as it forms somewhat of an optical illusion, wherein the pilot operating the flight would view the landing strip to be farther away than it actually is. This makes it easy to overshoot the runway.
This is what a tabletop runway looks like…
This type of runway isn’t the only kind that can lead to disastrous accidents. Watch this video by Tell-a-Story, which will take you through some of the most scary and dangerous runways across the globe. Only the most-skilled pilots can attempt to land on such runways!
About Tell-A-Story: A video storytelling venture founded by Suchithra Pillai, who comes with over 15 years of experience in the field of journalism, exploring and writing about people, issues, and community stories for many leading media publications in India and the United States. It presents video narratives along with thought-provoking content in less than 5 minutes, to engage and entertain the audience, is its preeminent vision. For more such intriguing stories, subscribe to the channel. You can also follow the stories on Facebook @tellastory2020 and Instagram @tell_a_story2020