AIZAWL, May 4(NNN): All the passengers of the Imphal-Aizawl sector of a Cessna Caravan aircraft operated by North East Shuttles had a miraculous escape today when the aircraft they were traveling in overshot the runway and crash-landed at Lengpui Airport in Aizawl.
Sources said the mini aircraft flying from Imphal to Lengpui Airport carrying nine passengers overshot the runway and crash landed at around 10 :42 am this morning. Miraculously none of the passengers suffered serious injuries.
The aircraft however, damaged the crucial Instrumental Landing System (ILS) at the airport which was due to be commissioned tomorrow.
The Airport Met Office informed Newmai News Network in Aizawl that the visibility at the Airport at around 10:30 am this morning was about 2 kilometres. “This kind of aircraft needs about 3.6 kms of visibility for landing. Surface wind conditions were harsh around the area and CB Clouds (Cumulus Nimbus Clouds) aggravated landing conditions,” said officials of the Met office at Lengpui.
The aircraft piloted by 22 years old Captain Saurajit Yadav then overshot the runway and crash landed. However, he was not injured in the accident.
Meanwhile, the nine passengers have been identified as C.H.Haleni (25) of Imphal, HB Hari (62) of Imphal, A. Rabindra Singh (29), SIB, NC Thangvungi (35), Ramhlun Venglai, Camillie Lalnunfeli (9), Ramhlun Venglai, Kimboi (20) of Imphal, David Lalhmangaiha (32), Chaltlang, Zomawii (60), Chaltlang and S. Haokip.
Mizoram Transport Minister P C Zoram Sangliana, MLA K Liantlinga, Member Secy. State Planning Board PL Thanga IAS (Rtd.), IGP L. Hrangnawna IPS, Wg. Cdr (Rtd.) Lalzawma and Aizawl SP Lalbiakthanga Khiangte rushed to the site of the accident.
North East Shuttles operates flights between the state capitals of the North Eastern states and Dimapur of Nagaland using its Cessna aircrafts.
This happens to be the second such incident when a plane overshot the runway of Lengpui airport. The runway at the Lengpui Airport also has a similar runway – where it is built on top of a hill and is surrounded by hills. It makes for tricky landings and take-offs because if a pilot lands too far down the runway, a crash is likely, sources said.