Mangaluru: On August 19, 1981, an Indian Airlines Avro aircraft missed a deadly air crash at the Mangaluru airport.
Congress leader M. Veerappa Moily was in the aircraft travelling from Bengaluru to Mangaluru.
The pilot received no signal from the air traffic controller to land the aircraft due to adverse weather conditions. Due to some ambiguity, the pilot flew several laps over the runway.
He descended to land but had passed over much of the runway and touched down when only 25% of it was remaining.
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Many had not even worn the seatbelt when the touch down occurred.
The front wheels came off and the aircraft stopped right at the edge of the cliff. The wings were already on fire.
The aircraft was trapped on three large stones with one poking into the aircraft.
Ground staff and fire service workers immediately put out the fire. The aircraft was then tied to prevent it from slipping down the cliff.
Fortunately, one of the emergency exits on the aircraft left side had opened itself. If it had been the right one then all passengers would have fallen down the cliff.
The pilot had already jumped off the aircraft. All passengers were successfully rescued from the aircraft.
Later, the central government stopped all Avro flights to the Mangaluru airport. The crashed aircraft was auctioned off.
(From the biography of M. Veerappa Moily – “Elli Mana Kalukiradoo”)
– Manohar Prasad