100 feet to touch down, runway disappears into darkness at Indore

Indore: It was 10.45 pm at Devi Ahilya Airport here on Monday. Jet Airways Mumbai-Indore flight (9W383) was approaching the runway for landing. When the aircraft was just 100 feet above the runway, the runway – and the entire airport – suddenly disappeared into darkness. When the pilot saw it, he decided to make a go around.

Akhilesh Rathi, who was onboard the aircraft, said that the passengers were scared when they found that the aircraft suddenly started gaining height. “Had the pilot not shown presence of mind, anything could have happened,” Rathi said.

After about 20 seconds, the runway lighted up again. The aircraft, after hovering in the air for about 20 minutes, made a safe landing at around 11.05 pm.

Backup system

Airport authorities said that a problem with the backup system that keeps the runway lights on while the power supply system restores caused the problem.

[box type=”info” align=”” class=”” width=””]Airport Runway edge lighting are used to outline the edges of runways. The majority of runway edge lights are clear or white. When an approach must be made on instruments, the last 600 metres (2,000 ft), or one third of the runway length available (whichever is less), are bi-directional. They look white to the pilot approaching from the short end of the runway, but to a pilot approaching from the other end, who would be landing or taking off in that direction, they are yellow to indicate that the runway is nearing the end. The lights marking the last 200 metres (660 ft) of the runway, called Runway End Identifier Lights, or REILs, emit red light toward the runway to indicate the end of the runway to aircraft on it, and green light outward to indicate the threshold to landing aircraft[/box]