Air India Express accident at Calicut was facilitated by the regulator, how?

  Air India Airbus Landing at Port Blair (Source Dr Puneet) Blaming the pilots alone for an accident is like addressing the symptom rather than the root cause. The root cause of the Calicut accident of IX1344 on 7th Aug 2020 is the poor safety culture prevalent in India and the ineffective regulatory oversight. This landing(YouTube video) can be categorized as a deliberate attempt to endanger the lives of passengers and crew. This is not the Calicut landing but a landing at another critical airport where most of the year the airport experiences tailwinds. Since the airport has a unidirectional runway ( landing from one direction only), the flight crew has no option but to land in tailwinds. The situation worsens during the monsoons when there is a tailwind and the runway is wet and braking action reduces. Action has not been taken either by the regulator or by the airline safety. Why? What is the role of the regulator? The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is the regulatory

Boeing's reluctance to admit mistake & Indian Aviation master's perpetual state of denial makes two to tango, will the B-737Maxreturn?



Well begun but safety agenda got pushed behind

William Boeing established his company, he went to his airplane factory housed at the Duwamish shipyard in Seattle and began to step all over improperly sawed “spruce ribs” until they broke. He used these wooden boards to build his new airplanes. The point, as relayed from his official Boeing biography, was that he was a perfectionist and demanded that his products be of the highest quality and safe.

Unfortunately the philosophy was dissolved by those who took over the reigns of the company and instead of safety, production and profits became the driving force. Boeing has had a history of known design defects beginning with the B-737 Rudder problems, B-747 Centre Tank Wiring issues, B-787 Battery problem and finally the B-737Max MCAS.

Attitude issue

Indian aviation has faced their share of ups and downs. Unfortunately the masters who run the show do not defer or consult experts in the respective fields before taking decisions but rely on lobbies. There is a perpetual sense of denial and any query that me arise is left unanswered. The public has no choice but to endure the consequences.

Boeing on similar lines does not answer directly but there is a stoic silence or denial.

Boeing's reluctance 

Boeing’s reluctance to admit mistakes is evident in its response to another question for
the record from Rep. Sharice Davids in which she asked if Boeing had taken any disciplinary action
against employees who were aware that the AOA Disagree alert was not functioning on the majority
of MAX airplanes prior to the Lion Air crash and failed to take appropriate steps to inform the FAA
or Boeing’s customers.1349 In its reply, Boeing said the priority was returning the 737 MAX to

As Mr. Muilenburg testified, our current focus as a Company is on
doing everything possible to ensure the safe return of the MAX to
service. We owe this to our customers and the flying public. That
said, once the MAX is safely back in service, the time will come to
consider further questions of accountability. And Boeing will not
hesitate to hold people accountable, where appropriate.

This response indicates that Boeing remains focused first and foremost on returning the
MAX to service instead of focusing on accountability and fixing past mistakes and processes that led
to the design, certification, and production of an unsafe airplane.


It is a cultural issue

In November 2016, at the height of the 737 MAX development process, Boeing conducted
an internal survey of its authorised representatives regarding “undue pressure.” The results showed that 97 percent of those surveyed said they understood the process for reporting “undue pressure,” and 90 percent felt comfortable raising issues of “undue pressure” with their management. However, the results also
clearly pointed to significant problems with the current Organization Designation Authorization structure. In the survey, for example, 39 percent of those responding said they had experienced “undue pressure” and 29 percent were “concerned about consequences” if they reported acts of “undue pressure.” In addition, 80 percent of those who said they had experienced undue pressure reported having experienced it on more than one occasion.

Indian Aviation and Safety Culture

Safety culture and Indian Aviation are two sides of the coin and the two shall never meet. The fiefdom culture that prevails in the aviation scenario has sucked out the essence of trust. The lack of implementation of Safety Management System in India is a sign of rudderless motion of the industry.

Is the DGCA capable of re-inducting the B-737 Max?

Boeing has a history of hiding critical information related to safety. The B-737 Max final Committee’s investigation has shown, Boeing did, in fact, have information that those industry-wide assumptions were wrong. Boeing knew this because it had internal test data it had acquired as early as November 2012 that its own test pilot took more than 10 seconds to respond to un-commanded MCAS activation during a test scenario in a flight simulator, a condition the pilot found to be “catastrophic”Boeing clearly realized the significance of a delayed response to MCAS activation because it described this “catastrophic” test result in six separate Coordination Sheets about MCAS that were completed from 2015 to 2018.What is less clear is why Boeing never shared this important data with the FAA, its customers, or 737 MAX pilots.

The 737 MAX has been grounded for 18 months following the crash of Ethiopian Airlines flight 302. During this time, Boeing has faced challenges in correcting both known problems with the airplane that contributed to both MAX crashes as well as newly identified manufacturing defects.

Does DGCA India have the requisite talent and expertise to evaluate the B-737 Max independently or will they take whatever is presented to them on a silver platter.

The FAA said the Joint Operations Evaluation Board for the Boeing 737 MAX will take place at London Gatwick Airport and meet for approximately nine days “to review Boeing’s proposed training for 737 MAX flight crews” and will include civil aviation authorities and airline flight crews from the United States, Canada, Brazil and the European Union.

There are several other key steps to be completed that raise questions about if there will be any 737 MAX commercial flights before 2021.

DGCA India does not have the experts to conduct a similar joint operations evaluation board. In light of the severe shortage there is a need to evaluate if India is ready for th re-induction of the B-737 Max 

Read the B-737 Max Final Committee Report Sept. 2020


Popular posts from this blog

Air India Express accident at Calicut was facilitated by the regulator, how?

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

Spicejet bends all rules to fly to Gangtok airport risking lives, in the wake of Calicut accident