An Air India Boeing 777 with some 370 passengers on board escaped disaster by just a whisker as it managed to land safely despite a concurrence of adverse conditions.

The Indian passenger jet from New Delhi to New York was supposed to land at JFK airport on September 11, but landed in Newark instead because of a series of electronic failures, bad weather and low fuel.

The commander in charge, Captain Rustom Palia, of the 15-hour flight described how there was only one radio altimeter functioning and the Traffic Collision and Avoidance System had failed. Palia added that there was “no Auto-land, no wind-shear systems, [no] Auto Speed Brake, and the Auxiliary Power Unit is unserviceable as well.

Prospects became even bleaker when the pilots discovered they couldn’t even rely on the automatic landing system, namely the Instrument Landing System (ILS) receivers.

The captain miraculously managed to safely land in Newark, where emergency teams had gathered on standby as a precaution. The pilot used an outside-the-box approach to land the plane, which involved the use of the few left over functional navigation aids on board.

 

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