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Inside Story: What Made Jet Airways Plane Skid Off Runway

New Delhi: Two days after a Jet Airways flight from Goa-Mumbai with 161 passengers skidded off the runway, not much is known about why it swerved 360 degrees at Dabolim Airport during take off.

Now, CNN News18 spoke to an expert who said the accident on Tuesday morning happened because one of the plane’s engines went into reverse thrust which could not be corrected, making the plane veer off course.

How It went Wrong

The pilots engage the on-board computers and the aircraft moved to the starting point of take-off.

After this, the engines picked up speed with 74 percent thrust. But the right engine of the aircraft went into reverse and that’s when the problem started. The reverser, which should enable the aircraft to be directed forward rather than backwards, did not disengage despite cutting throttle.

This forced aircraft off the runway. When the aircraft skidded, fuel supply to the engine was cut in order to stop it. But by that time, the nose of the aircraft was in the mud.

“In a layman’s term, when an aircraft lands, to stop the aircraft there is something of a reverse thruster which slows down the aircraft. In this case, one of the engines was in full thrust as it was taking off. In other engine, the reverse thruster went off causing the aircraft to veer off the runway. It means one engine does not have enough thrust, while the other engine was in full power,” said CNN-News18 correspondent and aviation expert Karma Paljor.

Rajan Mehra, former head Qatar Airways, explained complexity of the accident.
“One of the engines went into reverse thrust is something that happens rarely. The fact that one of the engine was trying to take the aircraft back and other one was trying to push it forward,” Mehra said.

Mehra added, “It has been a great job by the pilot to control the aircraft. Had the aircraft been in a near take off, it could have been extremely dangerous. This incident calls for a larger discussion on the aviation safety standards in the country.”

There were 161 passengers including 7 crew members on board the aircraft.