Meet Air India’s Hero Pilots Whose Courage & Presence of Mind Saved 370 Lives When All Else Failed

India hails its heroes Captain Rustom Palia and Captain Sushant Singh after they displayed immense courage, landing Air India flight AI101 which faced multiple failures and escorting 370 lives to safety. 

Image source 


Air India flight AI101 was coming in to land at New York’s JFK airport after being air-borne for over 15 hours non-stop from New Delhi got into trouble. According to sources, the flight which was supposed to land at New York’s John F Kennedy airport on September 11 had 370 passengers on board failed to do so due to deteriorating weather conditions. 

In a conversation with Air Traffic Control (ATC), the pilots radioed in the troubles faced by Boeing 777 aircraft approaching New York.

Flight Plan For Air India Flight Ai101 – Source 


Reportedly, all three Instrument Landing System (ILS) receivers on board the jet malfunctioned as well. ILS being the key system that helps pilots align the jet with the runway during landing in any weather condition, day and night is extremely crucial especially while landing. 

Image used for representation purpose – Source 


After they aborted their landing at New York due to weather conditions being bad, the pilots requested the ATC to give them time to sort out the internal issues being faced by their failing system. 

“We’re really, you know, stuck and there’s no fuel,” Palia told the JFK Air Traffic Control in a released conversation between the two. 

After multiple system failure , they could not attempt the standard instrument landing  and would have to go for a visual landing by manually looking for the runway after the clouds clear out.

Image used for representation purpose – source 


Air India does not train its pilots to use a non-precision approach without ILS availability and neither does Boeing mention it in its operational guidelines.

The pilots requested ATC if they could perform one at alternate airports but weather was bad everywhere and they were running out of fuel with 370 people’s lives at stake. With the cloud base at just 400 feet, the pilots would need to fly even lower to be able to spot the runway. 


After being airborne for 38 minutes straight the plane landed at Newark airport safely with multiple system failures, the two heroes saved 370 lives by performing an act of pure consciousness and bravery. India salutes you two! 

Source: Scoop Whoop

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