Let us be Realistic and Not Thrive on Speculation...

 May 26, 2010 

May 22nd 2010 was a black day in the history of our city - Mangalore. I had a call from my friend who lives closeby to this crash place, at 0630hrs saying “madam, looks like there is something wrong at the airport.  We heard a loud noise and can see smoke. Will you please check on the details and call me back?"  When I called him back with the news he said fire fighters and ambulances were arriving at the Bajpe airport.  Soon the news about the crash spread far and wide.

What is worse is that everyone from common people to experts issued statements and voiced opinions on the crash and other related matters including the safety of the airport.  Well, it was very easily spoken than understood.  People are still shell shocked losing their loved ones.  Some families face the trauma arising out of the multiple deaths following the air crash.  The enormity of the trauma cannot be explained by mere words.   At this point of time, I think people should refrain from voicing opinions, speculating on the possible causes for the disaster or finding fault with the airport, the runway, Airline Authorities or pilots or anyone else for that matter.

No doubt, speculation plays a vital role in incidents of this nature. Being in the Travel / Airlines Industry, I must admit it is hard for us to take these incidents on our stride because we live with it. We know ours is a table top airport ever since it came into existence.  We know it is always risky to land an aircraft.  As such only experienced pilots were flying as commanders on this sector.

Over the years, our airport has progressed beyond our imagination, I must say. When I was a kid, I had my uncles flying   from this airport almost 40 years back.  Now the runway is extended to the other side of the terminal, only because we have a valley on the other side of the airport. And I must say that Mangalore runway meets the required International standards. May be that we will have to acquire sophisticated facilities, which will come in the days to come.  After all Rome was not built in a day.!!

Mangalore airport has grown in leaps and bounds from the one flight a day then to almost 11 domestic departures a day and one or two international departures daily. These only speak volumes of the progress our City Mangalore has achieved. If an airbus can safely land at this same airport, this ill-fated aircraft, a Boeing, which has always landed could have landed safely.

Speculating on lack of airport landing safety measures, airport facilities, ILC, short runway etc., is not the proper way of dealing with the crisis. It only increases apprehensions and fear among people who fly from our airport. No doubt what has happened has been a chilling experience to many. But I am astounded that people are talking about an alternate airport. I just wonder, what is the guarantee that the new airport might offer foolproof security against incidents of this nature?    An accident is an accident and it happens in a fraction of a second. That is why we call it an accident. Yes we have many questions in mind as to why it happened, how it happened, whose mistake is it anyway? Why, why and why, is a BIG Question in our minds. But the more we answer that question in an un-satisfying manner, the more is the confusion that leaves us unconvinced.  So why rub salt on a wound, which will only worsen the pain? Let us try and do what best we can, rather than pointing out fingers at the system at this moment. 

We have shown our strength during the crash at the sight by rendering all possible help to the authorities in finding out bodies or shifting them or doing whatever was required to be done at that moment. Let us always live up to this value in us saying “We are Mangaloreans, in Tulu, they say “Enkulu Kudladakulu, Urudakulu…"

by Eulalia D'souza - Mangalore
To submit your article / poem / short story to Daijiworld, please email it to news@daijiworld.com mentioning 'Article/poem submission for daijiworld' in the subject line. Please note the following:

  • The article / poem / short story should be original and previously unpublished in other websites except in the personal blog of the author. We will cross-check the originality of the article, and if found to be copied from another source in whole or in parts without appropriate acknowledgment, the submission will be rejected.
  • The author of the poem / article / short story should include a brief self-introduction limited to 500 characters and his/her recent picture (optional). Pictures relevant to the article may also be sent (optional), provided they are not bound by copyright. Travelogues should be sent along with relevant pictures not sourced from the Internet. Travelogues without relevant pictures will be rejected.
  • In case of a short story / article, the write-up should be at least one-and-a-half pages in word document in Times New Roman font 12 (or, about 700-800 words). Contributors are requested to keep their write-ups limited to a maximum of four pages. Longer write-ups may be sent in parts to publish in installments. Each installment should be sent within a week of the previous installment. A single poem sent for publication should be at least 3/4th of a page in length. Multiple short poems may be submitted for single publication.
  • All submissions should be in Microsoft Word format or text file. Pictures should not be larger than 1000 pixels in width, and of good resolution. Pictures should be attached separately in the mail and may be numbered if the author wants them to be placed in order.
  • Submission of the article / poem / short story does not automatically entail that it would be published. Daijiworld editors will examine each submission and decide on its acceptance/rejection purely based on merit.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to edit the submission if necessary for grammar and spelling, without compromising on the author's tone and message.
  • Daijiworld reserves the right to reject submissions without prior notice. Mails/calls on the status of the submission will not be entertained. Contributors are requested to be patient.
  • The article / poem / short story should not be targeted directly or indirectly at any individual/group/community. Daijiworld will not assume responsibility for factual errors in the submission.
  • Once accepted, the article / poem / short story will be published as and when we have space. Publication may take up to four weeks from the date of submission of the write-up, depending on the number of submissions we receive. No author will be published twice in succession or twice within a fortnight.
  • Time-bound articles (example, on Mother's Day) should be sent at least a week in advance. Please specify the occasion as well as the date on which you would like it published while sending the write-up.

Comment on this article

  • Roshan Braganza, Mumbai

    Sat, May 29 2010

    What u think reasons for crash..... We can only have speculations and speculations. Truth was that the plane was fully loaded with petrol . Some peaple are harping about runway had enough length to land with any latest model. But there was no extra length incase of overshoot or any fault. So there was no factor safety. There were no cameras on run way and even the radar was also of retro quality.

    Everybody pointing fingures on pilot error . I think itz the easy escape as both r dead. Even if the black box was found , the exact decoded information may not be made public becoz its not in the well interest of airport or air india. One can easily assume that report will blame pilots only.

    Besides it , can't think of agony those passengers went threw final seconds . Pain they went threw burning in inferno and suffocation . May God give them the eternal peace.

  • Peter, Brahmavar/Sharjah

    Sat, May 29 2010

    Author tried to justity the necessity of the Manglore airport insted of its safety. Leave the Mangalore Airport to Mangalorian city people and Business lobby and selfish people. We need big airport to Udupi District. All Udupi district people, politicians, social workers let us united together and work for new airport in Udupi District.

  • Enica Dsouza, Mlore/Kuwait

    Fri, May 28 2010

    Its no point in arguing who is at fault. The commander, the runway , the airport,the air traffic control its doesn't matter anymore because its already happened.. Its simple.... we have our airport since 1955 from then we still have flights landing and taking off everyday. This incident had to happen on that particular day and of all the palces rite in mangalore. The almighty knows what he wants so how much ever done and tried the crash was bound to happen. All the people on board could have been alive today why only those 8 survivours. All people landing at the mangalore airport had absolutely no problem with the airport till the crash took place. One day or the other we all have to die n we all are destined to die so how much ever you try the efforts will fail. I know the pain that the families are goin through is imense but then its over. Guys its high time we accept the fact that ours is a table top airport and its not a easy job to get a new airport . Get out of your kiddish minds by saying that if we can get big new malls around the city airport is also possible.

  • Jeet, Mangalore

    Fri, May 28 2010

    I too agree with Prakash to have a bigger,better and safe new airport in mangalore.When big malls Like Bharath mall,Empire Mall and now the biggest City Center Mall is there Why not big new airport.Big Malls construction is i guess is becoming easier than to build BIG AIRPORT.Just think over ..............

  • Ryan Sequeira, Mangalore/Sydney,Australia

    Thu, May 27 2010

    Ms Eulalia D'souza, I think you have to get your facts right. AI always looks at cutting corners and I will not be surprised if they did that in this ill fated flight from Dubai. Forget about excess baggage, AI has taken extra passengers on their flight making them sit in the cockpit and crew set which is a grose violation of aviation law. Excess baggage is only a way of to increase revenue for making people pay for baggage they want to carry.

  • kishore, mangalore/muscat

    Thu, May 27 2010

    Everything in the heart of city heart ? why not disaster? Authorities and working in big companies need convinience ? Have u seen protest ouside the airport (picture published in daiji) on Inuaguration day new airport. what was the reason. ? compensation !How much ? see gregory patravo' s land- How many years he struggled in the court for justice ? what was result? we distroy some of the hills like KULUR CHURCH HILL and so many hills.which give shelter during flood, other natural calamities.Just imagine if one small gas cylinder burst inside house - all people die. what about one big tanker carring thousand lietrs gas on our city highway . why we are not aware of that? how we can solve the problem?

  • Mohammad Muzamil, Mangalore/Riyadh

    Thu, May 27 2010

    Dear Eulalia D'souza,
    Many thanks for sensational article. I am staying Riyadh, people/friends requesting me not to go Mangalore airport. But now by seeing your article definitely I will go to Namma Kudla.

  • Kunal Pai, Mangalore

    Thu, May 27 2010

    Mr. Roy pinto, the project u r talking about has been deemed unfit by the same Mr.Moily, he recently said on air at most of the TV channels that there was no more suitable place than Bajpe.. There are much worse table top runways in India and the world also... have u seen the lakshadweep airport runway, its in between a sea, how many survivors have we seen when a plane has crashed into a sea... If u have been seeing NGC Air crash Investigations there are no survivors in such crashes, It was bad and sad abt what happend, but as the author said, do not rub salt on the wounds of the people....


    Thu, May 27 2010

    There was a plan to shift airport activities to NANDIKUR where the terrain is flat & with vast space . This is little far from m'lore city but closer to people who belong to north side & will be towards central part of coastal area of karnataka..Area was safe for landing as there are no deep vallys around .SAFE LANDING IS MORE IMPORTANT than distance.At that time Mr. MOILY was C.M.Project was ped after he finished his tenure as C.M.
    Authorities can rethink on this issue.

  • Don, Udupi

    Thu, May 27 2010

    Yes true, lets not speculate and offcourse accident is an accident. At the same time AI itself is guessing it could be a pilot error and he over shot the runway. Many people commented as airport is safe and over 10000 landings were done. But the real problem with airport is if any human error happen like overshooting the runway there no scope of recovery as there is no room left for either safely land or take off.

    This shows that landings at Bajpe airport should be 1000% accurate and there is no scope for error. If error then crash is the only option.

    We had a similar expirience when we travelled to Chicago by Swiss Air where pilot overshot the runway yet managed to take off as there was enough room for him to correct his mistake.

    Also there were efforts to taken by many people to stop the construction of new runway but all efforts were overlooked by then government, high court, AAI.
    See the below link

    Probably this incident could have been avoided as THIS ROME WAS NEVER BUILT AND PEOPLE ARE USING IT AND PAYING HEAVY PRICE FOR IT.

    Any ways real sad moments for Mangalore. Heartly condolances to all families of all the departed.

  • Eulalia D'Souza, Bijai / mangalore

    Thu, May 27 2010

    Dear Dr. Arun, I am sorry you may not get details what you have asked for, b'coz that is confidential for airline record. Any airline will not load the flight extra, than what is permissible weight. We have had incidents when passengers had to leave their luggage behind, b'coz of load factor. So no aircraft can take off without prior permission / clearance from concerned authorities like ground engineers, secuirity of airport / security of airline, station in charge of airline / flight engineers etc. Only after these officers sign a clearance, an aircraft can take off. Hope i have answered your query

  • Dr ARUN D, Mangalore

    Thu, May 27 2010

    First let us know what was the load of the plane at the time of the crash. The plane was flying to full capacity. what abt the luggage weight. any idea? Who certified the airworthiness of the aircraft last.

  • Raju, mangalore

    Thu, May 27 2010

    it's not the problem of Runway its problem with the aircraft. while landing the flight shakes.and does not seems to have control like any other flight. if it was a different flight there wouldn't be crash


    Thu, May 27 2010

    Dear Eulalia
    Very convincing Opinion. Should be clipped with all negative critics to read and practise.If there was & is NO HUMAN ERROR,THIS EARTH & ALL ITS LIVINGS would be HEAVEN on EARTH.

  • Nelson Rodrigues, Mumbai/Mississauga (Canada)

    Wed, May 26 2010

    How about AAI building a new aiport just off the Mangalore coast?

    If Qatar can build a brand new Doha airport(NDIA), with part of the land reclaimed from the sea, so can India!

    Honkong at Chek Lap Kok Airport. There are currently 5 offshore airports in Japan, including Kobe Airport and Kitakyushu Airport.

    Seoul's Incheon airport is another fine example of an airport built on 2 islands & well connected to the Korean mainland.


  • Kumar, Udupi/Bangalore

    Wed, May 26 2010

    The percentage of people going in planes far less than people on road. If the same importance was given to our roads, NH-17 and NH-48 would have been in great shape. 5 days after incident, Mangalore crash is dominating. But people have forgotten Chattisgarh and farmer waiting for monsoon

  • Pavan, Karkala

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Dear Irene Castelino, Subhasnagar/Dubai,

    Seems your message is unanswered.

    I guess you left-out the other option, which is sea. Airport can be built on the sea as well. You haev a misconcept of the term "Plain". A small few hundreds of acres of Plateau within the city range that is surrounded by hills is not literlly a plain land.

    Moreover you call the valley behind the Bajpe airport, a death valley? Do we need to curse/tag our mother earth with profane words for ones selfish need?

    In our coutnry in general there is a lack of good service, safety, accountability, responsibility, honesty, etc., basic needs. Corruption is deep buried, Days begin with reasoning and criticism and there is no passion or attitude towards our own society.

    we are never satisfied with what we have and we aim for things beyond our limit. A phrase says - "treat a organization like your family business, then you would make it prosperous and grow". Same is applicable to our thinking. If we put ourselves in airport management system - we would never ever blabber, but would grow it further to make it a success. Evolution theory.

    A child grows in a craddle when at infancy stage. When it is unsafe, it is moved to the mattress 2x3 feet. Then it gets into the fenced cribb. And when when becomes a teen, which is fully conscious and self-trained, it is on the bed/cot which has no fencing. This cot surroundings need not be cushioned as far the teen is careful. Height has advantage as well!

  • Rajesh, Managalore

    Wed, May 26 2010

    I would rather suggest a bridge for the extension of the runway as i feel filling would cost more and time consuming. But making a bridge would be more suitable as the filling required in this area is over 200-300mts. If you need a perfect example just check out runway of Maderia Islands of Portugal, though we do not need such high pillars and so many numbers too.

  • Dr Prakash Harischandra, Mangalore Surathkal / Los Angeles

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Well said Ajay.Its the Same thing with Highways , None of the Politicicians are going to be here. when a tragedy strikes. the small talk activists will be gone and some uunlucky family will be dead. A standard is set to be followed, Our Poeple will still be the same.

  • donald, Toronto

    Wed, May 26 2010

    It was a tragic accindent beyond anybody's imagination.This Airport was built for small planes with a maximum seating capacity of upto 75 passengers,Airline companies find it not lucrative to operate small aircraft so they pressurised the politicians to incrase the size of runways and requested the centre to permit larger aircrafts,One more disadvantage is their it was built on two hills after leveling them. Now you see so many innocent lives are lost

  • Bulsam, Mangalore

    Wed, May 26 2010

    What happened on that fateful day, like any other bad-luck mishap was a mere accident. The runway, the equipments, the aircraft and the pilots were all perfect but it was destined to have that terrible tragedy may be due to various reasons which even the black box will not be able to solve cent percent.
    I had traveled in Dakota aircraft (DC-3) many, many times in the sixties and Avro and 737 aircrafts in seventies and ATR 72-500 in Nineties to Bangalore. Except Dakota and ATR 72-500 other aircrafts were causing anxiety while landing at old Bajpe airport (1600 Mts.) Initially the reverse thrust of 737 aircraft with the opening of flaps from the outer cover of the jet-engine was very scary but got used to it later. In the early sixties, Bajpe airport was a simple aerodrome with familiar officials & porters bringing luggage by tractor attached luggage carriers directly from the aircraft via outside the airport building to the passengers waiting near the taxi stand. Those simplicities were real fun e.g. the Mangalore city office was the outer house of Ranga Pai’s ancestral home (Now Hotel Poonja) and there was one old airline bus to carry passengers from Hotel Poonja to the airport. The Belgaum airport was a small room next to a banyan tree and the passengers used to come by bullock carts and take shelter under the banyan tree. Now things have changed for the worst.

  • Ajay, UK

    Wed, May 26 2010

    I think it is better not to speculate on the cause untill we have all the scientific data and the pilot conversations in the cockpit voice recorder. One thing we all know is that generally health and safety is given a low priority in India be it airlines,roads ,railways or in general day to day lives. Some unfortunate person dies every six seconds on our roads.There are various reasons ...lack of awareness,lack of education,speeding,bad design,drunken driving,corruption etc.Do we see anyone raising any protest or voice.The answer is sadly a big no.
    There has been repeated demands time and aagin to extend both verbally and in writing but the concerned authorities felt 8000 feet runway was enough and it was only last week a week before thecrash ,Mr Praful Patel promised to extend the runway to 9000 feet in order to allow wide bodied aircrafts.They should have done this in 2006 and built a 9000 or 10,000 feet runway. Sadly the same things happens to our roads. Recently the Central govt sanctioned 673 crores to build 60 metres wide 6 lane highway from Udupi to Surathkal and from Manglore Nanthoor to Talapady. 60 metrse really confirm to international standard ,that is what one sees in UK or USA. Well this time it was the people protesting requesting it to be reduced to 45 metres...end result is compromising on safety.So we will end up building a 45 metres highway which will become choked with traffic in another 10 years and killing more people on our highways....god save us.

  • alex, Kuwait

    Wed, May 26 2010

    There are 3 sayings I can recollect at this time. To err is human. Better late than never. prevention is better than cure.

    Boeing 737-800 technical handbook recommends minimum and shortest runway length of 990 metre at 34ton gross weight and 1150 metre for 34ton weight for wet landing. However, for 60 tons Gross weight the length needed is 1790 metres for dry landing and 2100 metres for wet landing with all options for braking used.
    I am sure our unlucky brothers and sisters from Dubai didnt come empty handed. And it was full load.
    Therefore logically 8000 ft less 2000 ft equals to just 1830 metres.
    Rest is all your assumptions what went wrong and what can go wrong, in future also.

  • Rahul , Ekm/Mangalore

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Dear Editor,

    First of all,my hearty condolences to those who lost their loved ones.Rather than speculating about the Manglore runway or airport,I think we have forgotten to ask one major question.

    Did pilot fatigue cause such an accident? Every pilot who lands at Mangalore is aware that the runway is very tricky and has to be cautious when the plane is to be landed.In spite of this awareness, how is that the plane landed 3000feet from the end of the runway? If the pilot was cautious this would have never happened.

    Question the Air India management, get answers from them regarding the work routine of an Air India employee flying in an aircraft.I strongly suspect pilot fatigue to be a cause of this accident. Let us wait and see from the outcome of the black box for this mysterious accident.

  • Rahul , Ekm/Mangalore

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Kingfisher uses Airbus 320 aircrafts in the evening flight which goes to Mumbai via Cochin.

  • Colin M. D'souza, Raleigh, U.S.A.

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Mr Kamath,

    You indeed got your facts right, but can you please tell me what your remedial measures are?

    You want to relocate the airport, this with Mangalore's topography is close to impossible. People stated Udupi and Padubidri, please tell me where is the land available to do so. Relocation to the other areas will not happen as this is prime land for farmers and explaining development of the city over loss of their livelihood is sheer foolishness.

    As stated in one of the comments above the airport has got an unrestricted approach for aircrafts with no hindrances. If you are not aware Mumbai's Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport has a mountain range in its flight path. New York's John F. Kennedy Airport is located right by a bay. Does this mean that these airports are unsafe? - No way.

    I am not saying that the drawbacks of the M'lore airport should be ignored. If you have followed the new terminal inauguration closely, Mr. Praful Patel clearly stated that more funds will be infused to develop the runway further as well as provide necessary amenities around the airport.

    I would rather turn your attention to the character shown by the people of Mangalore in ensuring that all bodies were recovered and providing relief and recovery resources at the earliest.

    As Mangaloreans cribbing over what went wrong and saying, 'I told you so' is just not the solution. We have a facility in our midst that needs a little tinkering to become something that makes us proud.

  • adshenoy, mangloor

    Wed, May 26 2010

    I agree with the writer that this is an accident and accident indeed, could happen anywhere in the world at any airports including the so called modern and "perfect" airports.

    Bajpe airport by far the table top airport perhaps unique and as people say tricky but not certainly dangerous but at the same time may be ideally have met basic but not extended standards with no cushion to handle or minimise the danger in disasters like these.
    According to the BBC report this new runway length has 2450 meters and features 60 meters each of Runway end Safety Areas(RESA) As per ICAO(International Civil Aviation Organisation) for category 3 or 4 airports (which Bajpe falls) with 1800 metres runway has to have a Resa of 240 meters for safe stopping in case an aircraft overshooting the touch down point on the runway.
    This perhaps tells us if the pilot had overshot the runway by 2000 ft there is no way the aircraft can be made to stop safely.
    Only investgations will reveal the exact nature of error or malfunction of instrument landing system. Again these aircrafts have auto landing system with overdiding manual systems.
    Until one knows all the facts all are speculations which are human in nature in disasters like these.
    Time will tell us and my expectation is the authorities will make improvements for safety without looking at the cost to save lives in disasters like these.
    To be frank I have landed and flown from Bajpe many many times but have not experienced any discomforts

  • Francis Lewis, Ullal, UAE

    Wed, May 26 2010

    I dont agree with Eulalia D'souzas opinion. Even though a expert can make mistake, there should be sufficient margin for errors. If the aircraft had not fallen down because lack of more space , definitely there could have been much more survivors. Extending the runway or automated landing systems will avoid future accidents.

  • Dr Prakash Harischandra, Mangalore / Los Angeles

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Interesting article. Good Comments. An airport is not just something of a tea shop shop,to lift and place in another area. With so much of problems with land acquisition , it will be antoher decade before another can be done. Padubidri is a non existent opinion any more since Two major industries have gobbled up the space. THe visibility factor is much worser with SMog . I donot think many realise Padubidri gets more rains than other areas of Udupi, its avergae is higher than rest of the district. TA pai , ed it just to prove a political point to settle with score with MP S MAllya. They couldnt digest , that it ran out their slippery hands to Mangalore instead of manipal.

  • Rajesh Sequeira, Coordinator Karnataka NRI Forum , Dubai

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Rightly said Eulalia.Where accident has to happen cannot be avoided. it is each one destiny.I have worked in Mangalore and I have seen this airport growing to great strength. Absolutely the airport is safe there is no doubt about it yes only experienced pilots can land and not Mangalore there are also many other airports in India as well as abroad which are tabletop. After Mangalore has become a customs airport just watch the traffic to mangalore this is the evidence. Let us be realistic and try to help the people in whatever means we can Anyone who wants my assistance in dubai can be contacted on rajseq22@yahoo.com

  • Jaison Lasrado, Mangalore- Kuwait

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Dear Eula,
    Thank you for a wonderful article. Accidents can happen anywhere with anybody. Nobody is perfect, its just bad luck on that day, I have been frequenting to mangalore once in every three months and never ever felt any danger as all landings have been safe by God's grace. We in this hour have to pray for the families who have lost their near and dear ones and help them in anyway that we can and possibly could, rather than to make speculations and further de-motivate people.

  • Theo D'Silva, Kadri/Mangalore/Toronto

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Dear Readers,
    First and foremost, I like to extend my heartfelt sympathies for the greiving family and friends.
    Secodly, We should remedy the problem. I strongly recomend to extend the both ends of runway by 500 Meters of soft landing pads (grass). We should also give a lighting indicator or arrows to show the best direction for landing. Inside the plane there should be radar to detect the landing strip needed to land safely.

  • Anil, surathkal/Dubai

    Wed, May 26 2010

    very next day the flight(KFA,air bus) from mangalore to bangalore was full if you think people will avoid mangalore air port,they would have travel by bus or train to bangalore.we please don't blame for runway,last 4 years if we see number of landing in this runway,there is no problems.


    Wed, May 26 2010

    I think you are not aware of the people who raised objection in extending the airport. Mr Saldanha had predicted this incident in his petition in the year 1997,I feel you have to go through his petition and then comment your views.
    Mr Saldanha was one of the petitioners who filed a Public Interest Litigation against the expansion of the second runway in Mangalore way back in 1997. His petition pointed out several flaws in the planning and regulatory framework of the expansion work at Mangalore including lack of emergency approach ways around the runway.

  • Antony Pereira, Mangalore

    Wed, May 26 2010

    The author of the article has expressed valid points. "An accident is a accident" which can not avoided. But it can be prevented by taking precautions & safety measures. Our Bajpe Airport is a table top Airport and it requires special skills & experience on the part of the Pilot while take off & land the plane on the airport. Hope now the black box has been traced and the authorities concerned will know the exact cause of accident & will take suitable & corrective measures to prevent similar type of accident in future not only in Mangalore but also in other parts of India. I extend my heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family members. May all the souls of passengers & crew members died in the plane crash rest in peace.

  • Suaris Gracy, Dubai/ Mangalore

    Wed, May 26 2010

    I do not have words to express, extending my deepest condolences to the families who lost their dear ones. Being a Mangalorean working in Dubai in the legal field, I am ready to help and give my voluntary service "Free of Charge" to any person in need for any consultation/ advise at any time. My email contact suarislen@yahoo.com

  • Sagar, Kankanady

    Wed, May 26 2010

    we humanbeings are just 'katputli' in the hands of god.. nothing we can change.. accidents cannot be averted..inspite of lot of measures be taken.. but one should take precaution..it's only due to fault of airport officals disaster struck ..by giving wrong signal a minute before thru radar for flight to land.. subsequently pilot has confused..and made a mistake..last word he has uttered 'overshot'..

  • Karuna, Mangalore/Dubai

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Bajpe airport has served probably every family of DK. During 60years of its existence i.e. from 1951 it has seen probably more than 100,000 take off and landings and what is the number of accident that took place, probably it is less than the number of fingers of one hand. I do feel hurt for the unfortunate 158 passenger who perished recently, I don’t say that everything is fine in Bajpe Airport, but for one unfortunate incident, I really don’t understand why so many people has to write such disparaging notes. I also oppose the action taken by gentleman who was an ex Jurist hailing from DK who has filed a PIL in the high court. It is shame the Jurist who instead of supporting the continuous operation of the most unique airport wants it to be closed down. Does this gentleman understand the feelings of DK people who in spite of all the drawbacks love this beautiful airport just like their second home? Time for DK people to wake up and oppose such people who do not understand the feeling of people of DK

  • Rajesh, Managalore

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Eulalia D'souza I completely stand by your article as it is more of a practical thought than a outcome of emotional feelings to change the airport location.If you people say that the mangalore airport is not safe, than wat do u have to say abt the sky that you fly. Though there is enough space in sky, then why did Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight 763 collide with Kazakhstan Airlines Flight 1907 that too at a height of 14000ft. It was due to some human error that had killed all 349 on board. So did the flights stop flyin.What was the precautionary measure taken to avoid this. All u people we are just humans and not gods and that is why we say "human error". And for all the people who feel the chill in their spines while landing in managlore, let me tell u that I have had so many landings in mlore on my enroute from abraod and I have never felt any difficulties experienced on landing in mangalore as a one of the passengers.

  • Irene Castelino, Subhasnagar/Dubai

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Speculation or no Speculation - Since the accident I have only one question on my mind, if someone can answer it. please tell me why do we have an airport and runway in a valley. Mangalore is a coastal region and not hill station. There is plenty of plain endless land in mangalore so why do we have an old and again a new airport in the same place with death valley on both side.

  • subramanyam bhat, Kasaragod

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Thanks to Girish & Prakash for clarifying my doubt regarding Airbus landing

  • Manohar Veigas, UDUPI

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Appreciate Eulalila D'Souza's theme of having a cool mind and practical approach to this plane-crash at the Mangalore Airport. I have been travelling through this airport to domestic destination number of times in recent past. I never noticed the pilots under pressure or in difficulty specially while landing in normal weather. The facilities and the upkeep of our Mangalore Airport has improved a lot and stands best comparted to other domestic airport. As some readers mentioned, it has a very easy and quick access to check-in, security check and boarding the flight. I only feel that specially the pilots/co-pilots should not over-stressed or forced to take on his duty against his wishes since cool temperament and alertness should not be over-riden. In the same way, Mangalore Pollution Board if it exist should take the stock of the hot air which is accumulating high in the sky around the airport, released from Chemicals, petroleum, Fertiliser & Thermal companies and warms up the temprature of the aircraft and its tyres. This things may sound ridiculous, but it's a fact. Our Airport is O.K but see what's cooking around it.
    Heart-felt condolences to the bereaved families and May the souls of the departed rest in peace.

  • S.Valder, Mangalore/Bombay

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Accidents takes place accidentally.But need of the hour is to take remedial measures so that this type or even lesser accidents never happen in future.If the authorities fail to do the needful people have to wake up and see that all possible remedies have taken to prevent such or similar loss/damage of life/property.

  • S.Valder, Mangalore/Bombay

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Accidents takes place accidentally.But need of the hour is to take remedial measures so that this type or even lesser accidents never happen in future.If the authorities fail to do something people have to wake up and see that all possible remedies have taken to prevent such or similar loss/damage of life/property.

  • V. Thomas, Bahrain

    Wed, May 26 2010

    I fully agree with Mr. Alwyn Noronha, Bahrain. Airport location will never change because almost all the nearby land has been purchased by Politicians.

    Mr. Rajesh, Barbados' suggestion to join with Malayalis to get their Airport at Kannur, I am glad that he did not suggest to shift our houses to Kannur.

  • Cedric, Mangalore/Dubai

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Mr.Subramanyam what the writer says that Airbus has landed is absolutely right.Airbus family consists of A319,A320,A321,A330,A340(SuperJumbo).Except A330 & A340 which are big aircrafts and these cannot land at Mangalore but other small planes of Airbus have landed.

  • Sunil D'Souza, Mangalore/Qatar

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Accident will happen any time & anywhere no one can stop. From past so many years this Air Port has been used for air transport. There were no complaints. Now all assumptions.

  • Rajesh, Barbados

    Wed, May 26 2010

    "Rome was not built in one day" but even after 60 years there wasn’t much built in Mangalore airport as well!
    by comparing Rome are you trying to convince there could be more disaster till we build contemporary Rome at Mangalore?
    Every time it’s risky during the monsoon and towards the end of summer season at Mangalore airport. Not ever human are 100% errors could occur, mean time there should be other precaution to eradicate the human error which wasn’t yet there after 40 or 60 years time.

    It is not just today, case which was filed years ago to move the airport from this place to a suitable place is still in the court and there are poor educated engineers without any support tried their best to do it, business man, real estate mafia and other gainers could easily convince the politicians and other authorities.

    Let this airport be given to Army for their actions and why not we not join the Malayalis to get their Airport at Kannure so that we could at least reach faster, if we can’t unite to get it away in padubidri or any other place.

    Being a Mangalorean I feel its not right to allow it to shift to Padubidri and Udupi guys will feel vice versa. We have no issues when it is away from both of us!! So lets save our self from human error impact.

  • Govinda Thirtha , Mangalore/Saudi Arabia

    Wed, May 26 2010

    I agree with Ajay here.When there are some hard facts available before us it can not be speculation.When everbody is aware that this runway is a tricky one & also when systems like EMAS are available,some measures should have been taken before to minimize the impact of any errors of judgement by pilots or mechanical problems in the aircraft itself while landing.

    Even the pilots who are flying to Mangalore could be under more pressure while landing when they know that there is no room whatsoever for any error on this runway.Atleast the authorities concerned should have learnt a lesson or two from the incident that happened way back in 1981 while going for the second runway that handles bigger international flights.Hope they will learn a lesson atleast now from this horrible incident.

  • Dr Kiran Acharya, Manipal

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Valid points by the author. As our family has used this airport extensively, since its humble beginning,we have a special liking for Mangalore airport in spite of its shortcomings. At present it is one of the "comfortable" airports, as the entry/exit is quite quick! (compared to other airports which make you walk for miles for no reason).

    Before pointing a finger at any one/ shortcomings let us analyse how, we as passengers have added to the problems. Whenever a plane lands, we are expected to switch OFF all electronic devices- to prevent interference to navigational aids, landing equipment-in contrast some restless passengers switch on their mobile phones (even in this ill fated plane there were mobile phones, which were active, in fact one of the passengers had even called his driver!), how many stick to the practice of wearing seat belt? How many actually wait for seat belt sign to go off after landing?

    Moreover, i recall in the past, when some flight was re routed to Kochin, due to bad weather, i saw abusive comments in Daijiworld too!

    Let us take a pledge now, that we stick to the set guidelines of air travel, so as not to risk others lives...

  • ruchir agarwal, mangalore

    Wed, May 26 2010

    I totally agree with the writer Eulalia saying "an accident is a accident" and we must not jump to speculations.I feel till the report of the black box is thru we must be mum.

  • Dominic, Vamanjoor,Mangalore

    Wed, May 26 2010

    @ Dr McQueen

    yeah you are partially correct, but your suggestion 2 will definitely possible and is practical. (reffer:Madeira Runway of Santa catarina Airport, Portugal)any way the new airprt terminal is ready so no need to worry give little rest to your heart.

  • PRakash, Mlore/Dubai

    Wed, May 26 2010

    many have opinion to change the location of the Airport,which many think is a foolish question to ask.But not only for the sake of safety but for the development this will be an ideal disition to take.First of all why did the Govt take this stand to make an airport on the cliff??may be this was the only place avilable that time(50yrs back)?coz all belived in agriculture and wouldnt alot the land to airport which was true tat time but now things are change.may be one can think parrelelly working on the new airport, because for sure mangalore will improve in comming years and people would like to see big aircraft landing inn and a good nice airport, so one should foresight the benifits and revenew genterated to Govt and convience to people ofcourse a safe airport.All these points generally tend towards an alternative place for an airport.Since Bajpe airport has no room left for an extension, there- fore no chance of a glimpse of A330-200 or 340 or Boeing 777 or 747s landing in mlore.But still let us be hopefull, because of the vibrant DK people anything is possible.

  • anna, moodbidri

    Wed, May 26 2010

    This is really stupid now to tell that to change the airport location bcoz of this accident.who will guarentee that there wont be any such cases in new airport? who can question gods will? v catholics believe that everything goes according to god's will.and where were these people, while the construction of airport was going on. why they didnt stop at that time? it would have been better.not now.you may also be aware about the stuggle behind to get an international airport in our hometown.an accident may happen anyime anywhere to anyone.so instead of fighting spread love and peace.better you demand a hospital near airport and good road condition.

  • Jawar D'Souza, M'Lore/Doha

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Dr. McQeen they all carry the same meaning.

  • Rolson, Shirva

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Very beautifully said! You changed my point of view regarding this incident!By one accident though unfortunately it was a major one, we cannot judge the whole matter based on certain ill-fated circumstances, All we is to do is take up effective measures in future instead of complaining.

    I stand by your opinion Eulalia D'souza, you truly deserve a round of applause! And i have a question for one who spoke against this article... where on earth where you with your opinion prior to this disaster, Opinions should be logically driven instead Emotionally, May god bless those souls with peace!

  • radhakrishna, kodialbail,mangalore

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Mangalore runway is safe and its approach for flights very safe compared to chennai, calicut, thirupathi, vizag. these airports sarrounded by hills at height more than runway and obstructing the landings and takeoffs. all hills are lighted to keep identified for flying.there is no hill obstructed with mangalore runway.

     It is very much safe as landings/takeoffs concerned especilly for ab320/321/b737's. but its accident happened due to human error and it can happen every where, and we should not degrade our airport. we will only strenghthen the govt/AAi/Ai for providing extra safety measures ,additional safety measures. If required to make runway lenghth more for further additional safe purposes only.

  • Abdul Rahman, Manjeshwar/Jeddah

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Thanks, Eulalia D'souza... good article...brings little confidence to us who wants fly to Mangalore.

  • James Dsouza, Mangalore

    Wed, May 26 2010

    As I offer my heartfelt condolances to the families of all the departed in this tragedy. it is the worst horror where 23 children were burned to death. Instead of blaming ,guessing and pointing fingers and also defending the mistakes, let the authorities take strict safety measures, if it is required to extend the runway so be it.
    It is easy to give reasons and defend but it is not so easy to digest when you lost your loved one. carelessness leads always to disaster whether it is life or work, ther is no second take.

  • Dr.McQueen, mangalore

    Wed, May 26 2010

    1)ideal solution - shift the airport
    2)practical solution - fill in the valley around the airport - such that even if there is a pilot error, the disaster is not of such a magnitude, as it happened recently.
    3) unfortunately in reality - none of the above 2 things will/may happen.
    4) another practical solutions - a)train pilots better,provide them with sufficient rest
    b)better landing facilities/ equipment
    c)better accesible roads to areas around the airport
    i guess at this point in time, my heart is thinking more than my mind....
    i fully agree with mr.ajay kamath - we should not wait for one more disaster to occur.
    i too have seen this airport as a rickety old building with old memories. true we have come a long way since, but we can get better and safer right? rather than waiting for a disater? after all is'nt human life precious?
    Vazir, Bangalore - can you please mention what it means to be pragmatic, realistic and practical?

  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Wed, May 26 2010


    You are right. This is just one more accident. We experienced its maximum affect because all on that plane, except the crew, belonged to Mangalore. Had this accident happened in Delhi, Mumbai or Chennai, our loss and reaction would not have been as much as this. Therefore, let us not blame certain factors but move on with our life. Nothing brings back our lost loved ones - that is the only reality.

    The airport existed since long and will continue to be. Such public projects do not erupt overnight - they are thoroughly studied by experts and approved. Trial runs take place before it is given final approval to operate. Few of you may know that Mangalore Airport is one segment that trainee pilots must pass through before being awarded a flying license.

  • Siva Avadani, Dubai

    Wed, May 26 2010

    The aritcle covers a very basic concept started well and goes down out of track, over the days there is a debate but not a blame game. After a long time unity has been seen. For your kind information airport may be inaugurated in 1951 that is a different story in terms of frequency of flights, and this Aiport was inaugurated on 15/05/2010 and 22/05/2010 was the accident. Well i am not in support of shifting the Airport which will cost double instead a good amount of the same can be spent on the betterment of current airport, in airline industry even 1% risk means its 100% risk. And the landing in Mangalore Airport will be always a chance and not choice, unless the strech of runway is extended to a comfortable distance than just.

  • Ronald D'Souza, Udyavara/Dubai

    Wed, May 26 2010

    My Deepest condolences to the families and friends who lost their loved ones in the tragedy. I have travelled to Mangalore several times since the AI Express started it's flight to Mangalore and it has been a pleasent experience. The mistaken has taken place that doesnot mean that it will happen again. I am sure that it will be learing Experience. Even after the incident the flights have landed safely at Mangalore. Speculating the whole issue is like applying salt over the wounds. One should not forget that the Honorable Civil Aviation Minister had just approved the extension of the runway a week before the incident which shows that there will be a lot of local economic growth for Mangalore in the near future.And I agree with Eulalia D'Souza that we should try and do what best we can, rather than pointing out fingers at the system at this moment.


    Wed, May 26 2010

    Dear Mr.Bhat,

    One of the lines in the writer's article says "If an airbus can safely land at this same airport, this ill-fated aircraft, a Boeing, which has always landed could have landed safely".

    Even though the above statement is a little ambiguous it is absolutely correct.

    Let me explain now:

    Among the planes which land at the Bajpe Airport are the Airbus versions A319 and A321 and the Boeing B737(Jet airways has 3 types of Boeing 737's the B737-700, B737-800 and B737-900, I am not sure if all the 3 versions of Boeing operate at mangalore, but the one which crashed in mangalore owned by Air-India was a B737-800)

    The most important specifications of a plane that decide if the runway is sufficient for it to land is the length and wingspan of the aircraft. The A319 and A321, both have a wing span of 34.1m and a length of 33.84m and 44.51m respectively, while the B737-700 has a wingspan of 35.8m and length 33.6m the B737-800 has a wingspan of 35.7m and length 39.5m and the B737-900 has a wingspan of 34.3m and length 41.9m.

    Now if we compare the Airbus A321 and the B737-800 we see that Boeing has a little bigger wingspan compared to airbus while the length of it is smaller than that of airbus(i.e when a plane 44.51m long can land at mangalore why not a plane 39.5m cant?). So wat the writer says is right.

    According to me even though the airport has met the standards for the runway, It will be great if they could extend it to 10,000 feet.

  • Prashanth Dsouza, Mangalore

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Ms. Eulalia D'souza's article gives us negative feeling. Its not right, yes no one can stop or predict the accident. But always precautions are to be taken so that we can avoid such incidence. If the airport was build in flat surface locations or if atleast 2000 meters more runway available this type of tragedy wouldnt have happened. Unless we make big noise about why it is happened, do you think our govt officials will open their eyes. I and most of us do not agree with your article and its contents.

  • Ajay Kamath, Dubai

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Mr Dsouza says we should turn a blind eye and refrain from saying that there is a problem with Bajpe Air port... Shall we wait till there is another accident ????

    Iam not speculating here but these are facts ...

    Quote from FAA(US) issued rules in 1999 calling for a runway safety area, usually extending 500 feet (150 m) to each side and 1,000 feet (300 m) beyond the end of a runway. This is intended to cover ninety percent of the cases of an aircraft leaving the runway by providing a buffer space free of obstacles. Since this is a recent rule, many airports do not meet it. One method of substituting for the 1,000 feet (300 m) at the end of a runway for airports in congested areas is to install an Engineered materials arrestor system, or EMAS. These systems are usually made of a lightweight, crushable concrete that absorbs the energy of the aircraft to bring it to a rapid stop. They have stopped three aircraft (as of 2005) at JFK Airport....By now we all know what is the Runway length of Bajpe Airport

    On 19 August 1981, IA Flight 557, a HAL 748 VT-DXF overshot the 5,783 feet (1,763 m) runway at Bajpe Airport in wet weather. The aircraft came to a halt just beyond the runway edge. While there were no fatalities, the aircraft was damaged beyond repair and was written off. One of the passengers on board was Veerappa Moily, then Finance Minister of Karnataka,who then went onto become Chief Minister of Karnataka. That clearly indicate no lessons were learnt..

  • Prakash, mangalore

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Dear Bhat,

    It must be AirBus A310 or A320, the smaller aircrafts. But Airbus A330 or A330-200 or AirBus A340 cannot land because they are wide and big aircrafts.Similarly Boeing B737 & B737-800 may land but not boeing 777 or 747s. The flights from king fisher and Jet airways are still smaller than Boeing 737-800 (the model which crashed) i think Indian Air line which lands has Airbus models.Hope i could help you to clear this doubt

  • Gireesh Shetty, Mangalore-Dubai

    Tue, May 25 2010

    Mr Bhat, Kasargoad.
    Airbus has lot models of aircaft big and small. By far the biggest airbus landed in Mangalore was A320 by Kingfisher, which is the widely used & fastest selling by far commercial Jet by Airbus used by many airlines. It requires minimum runway distance of 1600m.

  • Colin M. D'souza, Raleigh, U.S.A.

    Tue, May 25 2010

    Ms. Eulalia, I just love you for this amazing article. For the last 4-5 days I have been trying to fight and convince all the critics of the Mangalore Airport and finally I come across someone who thinks just like me.

    I fail to understand that people who have used the airport, the new runway to be precise were completely excited about its construction 4 years ago just because they have a 'Safer' option. The desire to reach home early with no hassles and stopovers was their reason to push local administration to get the runway up and running. No one cared about safety standards then, so why is everyone making a big noise now. The runway was built to meet international specifications thereby its safety was never a concern.

    Like you my attachment to the airport has been ever since I was a kid. My experience of touching down and walking on the tarmac waving to my loved ones eager to receive me is something I yet cherish.

    I feel the all critics should look at the airport practically and do some reading before commenting on its safety. There are airports across the world which are disasters waiting to happen because of their surroundings, but are safe as of now because of the perfection of the pilots. I would request all critics to consider that if they are alive today after taking a flight into Mangalore, they have no right to comment on the airport's safety. Issues with regards to extension and additional safety measures will be addressed to ensure an experience to remember.

  • subramanyam bhat, Kasaragod

    Tue, May 25 2010

    The writer of this article says AirBus landed in this airport. I saw in one of the interviews with officials that the runway length is not sufficient for AirBus landing. Can anyone clarify?

  • Vazir, Bangalore

    Tue, May 25 2010

    I support what Eulalia D'souza said & feel that we must be practical, realistic & pragmatic.
    Bajpe airport was inaugurated in 1951 & during the last 60 years, there has not been any single major accident. Over the years, the airport has expanded tremendously beyond all expectation. There have been reports claiming that the airport has handled 37,000 flights since 2006. The second runway is over 8,000 ft while a Boeing requires around 7 to 7,500 ft at the most for safe landing. Though it was raining in Mangalore on the fateful day & earlier, the weather is known to be perfectly okay when the flight landed. There are also reports suggesting that the AI Express did touchdown. Obviously, something must have gone wrong somewhere & we know the result.

    It is not correct to panic because of one tragedy, however, horrible & devastating it is.
    Let us desist from talking nonsense like relocating or blaming the tabletop runway. There are several other tabletop airports in the country & abroad. Can all of them be closed or relocated?
    We need safety measures & precautions to ensure that such mishaps do not recur. Accidents & tragedies can happen anywhere. We need sanity & clear thinking instead of confusing people with hairbrained ideas & opinions.

    Let us listen to sensible views expressed by persons like Eulalia D'souza.

  • Alwyn Noronha, Bahrain

    Tue, May 25 2010

    The airport location will not change. I wonder how many acres of land these ministers have acquired in and around the airport. So lets us throw the idea of having a safe airport in other location. Eulalia d’souza can you plz tell me how many people die in road accidents in a year while going to the airport and coming back. It is one of the worst roads I have seen linking the international airport. The road work is going on from may be 10 years. These are time to raise this point.

    Our countries development is based on sacrifices of people. Human value is very low in our country. Look at the developed countries, every single citizen is valuable. Our government wakes up only when there are such kinds of tragedies. I feel the plane victims have sacrificed there lives for the development of all things that associates with the airport. Your article gives me a negative feeling.

  • Elveera Mathias , Shirva/Australia

    Tue, May 25 2010

    Fantastic Article. I totally agree with the writer. There is no point in pointing out the fingers on authorities. It is an accident!!No one can predict the accident. It could have happend any time even the airport would have been had all the facilites.

    Heartfelt condolence to all the Mangaloreans who lost their loved onces. May their soul rest in peace.

  • Vinod, India

    Tue, May 25 2010

    Though I agree speculation is bad, we citizens must learn lessons from the incidents and look for opportunities. If the airport is even has the slightest risk of posing danger to innocent lives, then proper corrective measures should be taken. It is not hard to expand this table top runway. Cleaning the valley and filling it up and building it to extend the runway and make it more safe should be priority.

    I also urge nearby villagers to give up the land to ensure that the airport becomes more safe. Mangalore airport brings lot of opportunities to the local economy and hence it is us for Mangaloreans to fight for a better airport. The present land itself can be used to construct a longer runway and also build up the valley area to make it more safe. Let us see this opportunity to make the Mangalore airport more safer.

  • Tammy McKillip, South Dakota/USA

    Tue, May 25 2010

    I will like to extend my condolences to the families of those lost in this terrible tragedy. May God and peace be with you with you all.

Leave a Comment

Title: Let us be Realistic and Not Thrive on Speculation...

You have 2000 characters left.


Please write your correct name and email address. Kindly do not post any personal, abusive, defamatory, infringing, obscene, indecent, discriminatory or unlawful or similar comments. Daijiworld.com will not be responsible for any defamatory message posted under this article.

Please note that sending false messages to insult, defame, intimidate, mislead or deceive people or to intentionally cause public disorder is punishable under law. It is obligatory on Daijiworld to provide the IP address and other details of senders of such comments, to the authority concerned upon request.

Hence, sending offensive comments using daijiworld will be purely at your own risk, and in no way will Daijiworld.com be held responsible.