Air India Plane Crash

On Friday evening a repatriation flight returning 190 passengers affected by the global pandemic from Dubai crashed landed on a "table-top runway" at Karipur Airport in India. A table-top runway is one that's perched on top of a cliff or a gorge. In this case, a tailwind and poor visibility caused issues for Captain Dipak Vasant Sathe, who skidded the 737 off the runway on his second attempt landing the plane. 19 people, including Captain Sathe lost their lives as the fuselage split in two while sliding down a 30-foot gorge. While conditions made the landing difficult, some believe that moments before crash the captain shut down power to the engines, preventing a fire and explosion that could've potentially killed many more. Reports have since emerged disputing this conclusion and attributing the lack of a fire and explosion to the drop being merely a 30 foot drop.


Compare this with a similar crash landing at a different airport with a table-top runway in India in 2010, when the pilot ignored the First Officer's request to "go around" and had been sleeping for nearly the entire flight. The resulting fire and explosion killed 158 of the 166 passengers. The drop off this gorge is closer to 300 feet.


Regardless, table-top runways are an extremely stupid idea. I mean, look at this, it's a death trap.