Gust of wind, incorrect determination by pilots, situation of airstrip amongst doable causes for AI Express crash: Experts


New Delhi, August 11

A gust of wind, a incorrect determination by the pilots, the situation of the airstrip and even defective indication by the instrument touchdown system may very well be doable causes for the crash of the Air India Express airplane on Friday within the south Indian metropolis of Kozhikode, in line with aviation consultants.

The dominant motive cited by the consultants was the choice by the pilots to not divert the Boeing 737 airplane to a different airport after the primary try to land on the designated strip in Kozhikode failed amid rain.

The consultants had been, nonetheless, of the opinion that the actual causes can be recognized solely after a radical investigation into the crash was carried out and it was untimely to conclude about why and the way it occurred.

The plane, bringing again 190 stranded Indians from Dubai, broke into items after it overshot the table-top runway 10 and fell right into a valley 35 ft under, leaving 18 individuals together with each pilots, useless.


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“It is foolish to land with a tailwind on a wet runway…This is what I have been pointing out for years. I said in 2011 that landing with a tailwind in rain on runway 10 will result in an accident one day,” main skilled Captain Mohan Ranganathan informed PTI.

Ranganathan was a member of the operations group of the Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Committee (CASAC) in 2011. He has been part of varied different security committees of aviation regulator DGCA.

As the investigators start probe into the accident, one other aviation skilled referred to the “widely recognised Swiss Cheese” mannequin whereas speaking about doable causes for the crash that included breaking up of the airplane’s fuselage.

“Any aeroplane accident that happens is never dependent on a single factor. Top air accident investigation teams across the world believe in the Swiss Cheese model. It says that only when the holes of all slices of Swiss cheese get aligned, then only an accident happens,” the skilled stated on situation of anonymity.

“It is just a metaphor. Swiss cheese has a lot of holes. If you put slices of Swiss cheese in a string and spin them, there will be one in a million times that all holes would be aligned. That will be a precursor to an accident,” he defined.

The skilled stated the explanations for the crash might embrace environmental issue, human issue, technical issue, the well being of the airplane, administrative issue and exterior issue like what the air visitors controller is telling the pilots.

He stated a sudden gust of wind resulting in a incorrect determination by the pilots, situation of the plane, incorrect signalling by the instrument touchdown system or pure human error may very well be among the causes for the crash.

“It can be multiple reasons. We cannot speculate. Wind speed could be a reason. When you are at low speed, you are susceptible to the impact of the wind. One gust of wind can play havoc,” he defined.

The runway 10 at Kozhikode airport is roughly 2,700 metres lengthy. The plane touched down roughly 1,000 metres from the start of runway 10 whereas touchdown, in line with the AAI.

Captain SS Panesar, former director of flight security and coaching on the Indian Airlines, stated the pilot ought to have diverted instantly to one of many close by airports — Trivandrum or Bengaluru — after he didn’t achieve its first try to land on runway 10 in unhealthy climate situation, utilizing the instrument touchdown system (ILS).

The ILS makes use of radio beams to provide pilots vertical and horizontal steering whereas touchdown the airplane.

“The authorities have found the DFDR (digital flight data recorder) and CVR (cockpit voice recorder) but one thing will remain unanswered, that why didn’t he divert?” Panesar requested.

The consultants stated the flight information recorder would give the investigators situation of the well being of the plane, whereas the cockpit voice recorder would offer particulars of what the pilots had been considering and what they had been going by means of earlier than the crash.

Captain Deepak Sathe was the pilot-in-command and Captain Akhilesh Kumar was the primary officer of the flight AIX1344.

According to the AAI, the visibility at Kozhikode airport when the flight landed was 2,000 metres.

The Kozhikode airport is a CAT-1 airport the place flights can land with visibility of 8,01,110 metres or extra. At a CAT-IIIB airport, the runway visible vary will be as little as 50 metres.

The B737 is without doubt one of the hottest plane fashions of Boeing. According to the plane producers’ operations guide, a B737 airplane can satisfactorily land or take off when the tailwinds aren’t greater than 15 knots.

A former DGCA official informed PTI that the accident might have been averted had the runway been prolonged some extra throughout the previous couple of years.

In 2017, the AAI had tried to acquire land to increase the runway but it surely was not in a position to take action because the land acquisition was proving to be costly and there was stiff resistance from locals, stated the official.

Addressing the questions on runway 10, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri stated on Monday that the airport was geared up with Runway End Safety Area (RESA) as per International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Ten years again, an Air India Express plane overshot the tabletop runway at Mangalore airport, fell right into a gorge and caught hearth, leading to lack of 158 lives.

Pointing to the similarities between the 2 accidents, Ranganathan stated: “If the same error is done by the same airline (Air India Express), so what happened to safety audits and other checks that the DGCA has been doing for the last 10 years?”

Panesar stated there needs to be a judicial enquiry into the accident as it might permit aviation consultants to file affidavits and ask pointed questions concerning the accident. PTI



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