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Air India Derosters Pilot After Airbus A320’s Hard Landing In Dubai

by Staff


  • Air India is investigating a hard landing incident involving its Airbus A320neo aircraft in Dubai.
  • The pilot involved has been derostered pending investigation, and the aircraft has not had a commercial flight since then.
  • Hard landings can be risky and can damage airplane structures and injure passengers depending upon the severity of the incident.

Air India is currently investigating a hard landing of one of its Airbus A320 aircraft that operated a flight to Dubai last month. The plane had to spend a few days in Dubai for checks and was allowed to fly back to Mumbai after that for further inspections.

Pilot derostered after hard landing

An Air India Airbus A320neo aircraft made a hard landing at Dubai International Airport on December 20. According to reports, the landing recorded forces of 3.5 G, and the aircraft had to be grounded for checks. Thankfully, no injuries were reported, but the pilot performing the flight has been derostered pending investigation. Air India has stated,

“An investigation has already been initiated, as per DGCA norms. The pilot was appropriately trained and licensed to fly the aircraft. He has been off-rostered till the process of inquiry is on as per norms.”

Photo: Skycolors | Shutterstock

About the flight and aircraft

The incident involved Air India flight AI 933 from Kochi to Dubai. The majority of the flight was uneventful but ended in a hard landing. The aircraft involved in the incident is a 5.5-year-old Airbus A320neo registered as VT-CIQ. The aircraft’s relatively young age may have prevented a serious incident, although it needs to be evaluated thoroughly for future flights. The Times of India quotes a senior A320 pilot as saying,

“This aircraft made a landing into Dubai exceeding the manufacturer’s landing gear structural limitation. It can cause extensive damage to the landing gear structure. Depending on the age of the aircraft, and metal fatigue, a young plane may withstand that particular landing but for subsequent landings the structural integrity can fail leading to structural failure.”

Air India Airbus A320 take off from Indra Gandhi International Airport Delhi

Photo: Rahul Sapra | Shutterstock

The aircraft was ruled out for any subsequent flights after that and stayed in Dubai for further examination. It flew back to Mumbai on December 27 for a thorough check. According to Flightradar24, the ferry flight out of Dubai was performed under 10,000 feet, indicating an unpressurized flight. So far, the plane has not performed any other commercial flight.

Other incidents globally

Hard landings can be tricky for both the aircraft and its occupants, depending upon its severity. In August 2023, an Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-800’s landing gear and wing suffered significant damage after a hard landing at John Wayne Airport in California.

The landing was performed during tricky weather conditions at the airport, and the plane slammed so hard onto the runway that it impacted the left landing gear, which collapsed and punctured the wing of the aircraft. Thankfully, no injuries were reported from the incident.

Alaska Airlines Boeing 737-800 N597AS

Photo: Robin Guess | Shutterstock

In August 2022, another hard landing at John Wayne Airport resulted in a flight attendant getting severely injured. A Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 touched down on the short runway so hard that it fractured the spine of a cabin crew member who had to be evacuated by paramedics.

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