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

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.

Thai Airways B-747 carries out emergency manoeuvre after descending too low, April 2018

Thai B-747

On April 11, 2018, around 23:52 JST, a Boeing 747-400, registered HS-TGX, operated by Thai Airways International Public Co., ltd. as a scheduled flight 660 for Tokyo International Airport, executed a go-around as an emergency operation to avoid crash into the ground in approach to Runway 16L when the aircraft descended to 282' and 3 nautical miles to touchdown at Haneda airport. The B-747 was almost 600' below the descend profile.
The aircraft thereafter requested an approach to land on Runway 22 and landed on Runway 22 around 00:04 on the following day. There were 384 persons onboard, consisting of the PIC, 18 flight crew members and 365 passengers. No one was injured and there was no damage to the Aircraft.

Probable cause

In this serious incident, it is probable that the Aircraft maneuvered an emergency operation to avoid crash into the ground because it came close to the ground surface in approach to Runway 16L at Tokyo International Airport. It is probable that coming close to the ground was caused by the PIC’s concentration on modifying the lateral flight path, continuing descent without paying an appropriate attention to the descent path, and by the first officer’s unawareness of the too low descent path due to his concentration on monitoring the lateral flight path.


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