The pilot-in-command of the Air India Express aircraft from Dubai that overshot the runway and crashed while landing at the Mangalore airport was reportedly Z Glucia, a Serbian national. He was assisted by first officer Capt S S Ahluwalia.
Of the 167 people on board, 159 have been killed and there are seven survivors.
Mangalore airport has a table-top runway which means that it is located on a hill top, which demands accuracy with no room for error while landing. According to sources, the pilot did not report any malfunction to the Airport Traffic Control (ATC), before landing.
According to reports, Z Glucia was an experienced pilot and familiar with Mangalore terrain and had been on this route several times before. Sources say the ATC saw the plane approaching normally and enter the runway. It was only after landing that things went horribly wrong.
Preliminary information from sources suggests that the plane veered violently and one side of it hit the Instrument Landing System (ILS) antenna on the ground. The body of the aircraft split and survivors were thrown out, possibly close to the tarmac area. Some reportedly got stuck in an overhead cable.
The plane then dived into the valley and burst into flames.
Unconfirmed reports also suggest that there may have been a tyre burst, which made it difficult for the pilot to bring the aircraft to a halt.
Speaking to NDTV, Former Chief Flight Inspector, DGCA, Air Marshal Denzil Keelor said there was not enough safe area for the pilot to go into after he lost control of the aircraft. He further added that the Mangalore airport did not provide an overshoot area, making the airfield unsuitable for any mistakes.
The DGCA has rushed a team to investigate matters. The primary concern is to retrieve the black box that will give investigators to reconstruct the last moments in the cockpit.