AI pilot's final words revealed before Dubai crash

Transcript reveals "panic voice" from Air India Express cockpit.
NEWS, Aviation


A transcript has been published of the final communication between Air India Express pilots and Air Traffic Control (ATC) officials at Mangalore airport, just moments before the Boeing 737-800 overshot the runway and killed the majority of passengers.

The details were obtained by Indian media from a court inquiry into the incident, which occurred in May 2010.

The airport official told the pilot, “Wind calm, runway 24 clear to land,” at 6.04.17 a.m. To this, it got the following reply five seconds later (6.04.22 a.m.): “Clear to land Express.” The transcript says that the words “Go around captain” were heard 16 seconds later (6.04.38 a.m.), adding that they may have emanated from the cockpit.

Exactly 26 second later (6.05.04 a.m.), the ATC tower told the crew, “Express India 812 back track runway 24, vacate via Delta.” Seventeen seconds later (6.05.21 a.m.) the word “control” was heard.

The copy describes the voice heard as “panic voice probably from cockpit.” Within next 18 seconds, the ATC made two attempts to contact the pilot. First it said “Express India 812, Mangalore control correction Express India 812 Mangalore Tower” and then it called, “Express India 812, Mangalore Tower.”

No further conversation is recorded in the transcript supplied.


TIME: 5.30 AM


EXPRESS INDIA 812: What is the weather like?

ATC (Area Control): Wind: Calm. Visibility: 6 km. Clouds: Few at 2000 feet. Temperature: 27. Dew Point: 26

EXPRESS INDIA 812: Runway 24. And confirm we are identified on radar

ATC (Area Control): Radar not available sir


In fact, the Mangalore airport's radar had not been working for two days- since May 20. The radar is a navigational aid. Flights can take off and land without it, but that increases the workload and pressure on the ATC. We come to the last leg of conversation where the flight has established contact with the ATC Tower to land .

DATE: MAY 22 (TIME: 5:54 AM)


EXPRESS INDIA 812: Express India 812 Good morning

DATE: MAY 22 (TIME: 6:04 AM)

ATC (Tower): Wind calm. Runway 24. Clear to land

EXPRESS INDIA 812: Clear to land, Express

14 seconds later, this is a voice the ATC controller hears from the cockpit.

DATE: MAY 22 (TIME: 6:04)

VOICE FROM COCKPIT: Go around Captain

This seems to be the most critical part of the conversation, according to pilots we spoke to. They say the ATC heard the co-pilot telling the pilot to go around - which means miss the landing, and let's come back again. The pilot decided against that. Apparently not perturbed with the situation in the cockpit , since go around manoeuvres do happen occasionally , the ATC issued standard instructions for the jet once it landed on how to exit the runway.

DATE: MAY 22 (TIME: 6:04)

ATC (Tower): Express India 812 backtrack runway 24. Vacate via Delta

DATE: MAY 22 (TIME: 6:05)

Less than 20 seconds later... the ATC heard just the word CONTROL... which they now say was possibly a panicky voice from the cockpit. Within minutes IX812 was a ball of fire.

Most Popular