Experts Cite Pilots' Wrong Decision As Major Reason For Kozhikode Crash

Boeing 737 broke into items after it overshot the table-top runway. (File)

New Delhi:

A gust of wind, unsuitable determination by the pilots, the situation of the air strip and even defective indication by the instrument touchdown system could possibly be attainable causes for the crash of the Air India Categorical on Friday in Kerala’s Kozhikode, in keeping with aviation specialists.

The dominant motive cited by the specialists was the choice by the pilots to not divert the aircraft to a different airport after the primary try to land on the designated strip failed amid rain.

The Boeing 737, 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 toes under, leaving 18 folks together with each the pilots useless.

“It’s silly to land with a tailwind on a moist runway…That is what I’ve been stating for years. I mentioned in 2011 that touchdown with a tailwind in rain on runway 10 will end in an accident someday,” main knowledgeable Captain Mohan Ranganathan informed PTI.

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

Because the investigators start probe into the accident, one other aviation knowledgeable referred to the “extensively recognised Swiss Cheese” mannequin whereas speaking about attainable causes for the crash that included breaking up of the aircraft’s fuselage.

“Any aeroplane accident that occurs is rarely depending on a single issue. Prime air accident investigation groups the world over consider within the Swiss Cheese mannequin. It says that solely when the holes of all of the slices of Swiss cheese get aligned, then solely an accident occurs,” the knowledgeable mentioned on situation of anonymity.

“It’s only a metaphor. The Swiss cheese has lot of holes. In the event you put slices of Swiss cheese in a string and spin them, there will probably be one in one million occasions that each one the holes can be aligned. That will probably be a precursor to an accident,” he defined.

The knowledgeable mentioned the explanations for the crash may embrace environmental issue, human issue, technical issue, well being of the aircraft, administrative issue and exterior issue like what the air site visitors controller is telling the pilots.

He mentioned a sudden gust of wind resulting in a unsuitable determination by the pilots, situation of the plane, unsuitable signalling by the instrument touchdown system or pure human error could possibly be among the causes for the crash.

“It may be a a number of causes. We can’t speculate. Wind pace could possibly be a motive. If you end up at low pace, you might be vulnerable to impression of the wind. One gust of wind can play havoc,” he defined.

The runway 10 on the 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 keeping with the AAI.

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

The ILS makes use of radio beams to offer pilots vertical and horizontal steerage whereas touchdown the aircraft.

“The authorities have discovered the DFDR (digital flight information recorder) and CVR (cockpit voice recorder), however one factor will stay unanswered, that why did not he divert?” Mr Panesar requested.

The specialists mentioned the flight information recorder would give the investigators situation of the well being of the plane, whereas the cockpit voice recorder will present particulars of what the pilots had been considering and what they had been going by earlier than the crash.

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

In keeping with 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 801110 metres or extra. At a CAT-IIIB airport, the runway visible vary could be as little as 50 metres.

B737 is without doubt one of the hottest plane fashions of Boeing. In keeping with the plane producers’ operations guide, a B737 aircraft can satisfactorily land or take off when the tailwinds usually are not greater than 15 knots.

A former DGCA official informed PTI that the accident may have been averted had the runway been prolonged some extra throughout the previous few 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, mentioned the official.

Addressing the questions on runway 10, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri mentioned on Monday the airport is supplied with Runway Finish Security Space (RESA) as per Worldwide Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

Ten years again, an Air India Categorical plane overshot the desk prime 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, Mr Ranganathan mentioned “if the identical error is completed by the identical airline (Air India Categorical), so what occurred to security audits and different checks that the DGCA has been doing for the final 10 years”.

Mr Panesar mentioned there must be a judicial enquiry into the accident as it should permit aviation specialists to file affidavits and ask pointed questions concerning the accident.

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