Slippery runway & more so the safety area at Kozhikode may be a leading cause of the Air India Express crash

Image
RESA  The entire state machinery is on overdrive to defend the Calicut Airport stating that it was completely safe for flight operations. There are two significant points to focus on while determining the causes of the accident.  1. Previous safety audits have pointed to vegetation on the runway end safety area (RESA). 2. The rubber deposits at the ends of the runway may have been a contributory cause of the accident. Comparison A comparison of the runway friction values indicates a possibility of higher rubber deposits or poor runway friction levels at both ends of the runways. A friction level below 0.47 requires maintenance action as per the Indian Aeronautical Information Publication. The combination of runway friction and vegetation on the RESA may have been a significant factor that may have caused the Air India Express 1344 runway overrun at Kozhikode on 7th Aug 2020. Must note that the runway has a pronounced crown close to the middle and drops more than 25 feet on either side.

IndiGo flight followed a similar flight pattern and landed safely before the ill-fated Air India Express crashed

An IndiGo AT-72 turboprop landed at Kozhikode airport 01hr45min prior to the ill-fated Air India Express B-737.  The IndiGo ATR followed a similar flight profile befoe landing on the easterly direction runway 10 at the airport.

The IndiGo ATR too attempted to land on the westerly runway 28 but discontinued the approach. The reason could be due to poor visibility in rain and/or low clouds obscuring the pilots vision in an attempt to acquire visual references of the landing runway.

The second attempt was carried out on the easterly runway 10, same as the Air India Express. 

At the time of landing, the prevailing visibility in rain was between 1500m-2000m. The instrument landing system which guides the aircraft through electronic ground based transmitter signals to 250 feet above ground requires the visibility of atleast 1300m or more.

The IndiGo ATR may have faced less severe weather and the slower turboprop may have been more forgiving. Nevertheless, this pattern can provide some interesting insights about the prevailing conditions and the interactions with the air traffic controller, who is the only eye and ears of the pilots on the ground.

Comments

  1. You have not accounted for the Vertical and Horizontal profile of both the aircraft

    ReplyDelete

Post a comment

Popular posts from this blog

Etihad incident at Calicut,June'19, highlighted airport infrastructure issues. This could have been the wakeup call!

Much defended, Kozhikode Runway RESA & Runway Strip do not meet ICAO standards