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

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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.

Standards for passenger evacuation from aircraft not upated finds USA audit.

 

Passenger evacuation
The current standard is to demonstrate that the aircraft can be evacuated by all passengers in 90 seconds using half the exits. There have been increasing number of evacuations where it has been observed that the pasengers were carrying their personal belogings or delaying the evacuation to collect their belongings.

The test scenario is conducted with motivated volunteers who have been briefed on the scenario. However a real evacuation with changing passenger profile will present different challenges.

FAA largely updates its evacuation standards only after accidents, and its last update that was based on an accident occurred in 1991. FAA also has not conducted sufficient research on passenger behaviors and seat dimensions to determine how they affect evacuation standards. Furthermore, FAA does not collect comprehensive data from evacuations or data from aircraft model certifications to identify emerging risks and needs for regulation updates.

Read the full report here 

  • FAA’s Process for Updating Its Aircraft Evacuation Standards Lacks Data Collection and Analysis on Current Evacuation Risks
  • FAA Has Conducted Insufficient Research on Passenger Behaviors and Demographics, and Seat Dimensions To Determine How They Affect Standards
  • FAA Does Not Collect Comprehensive Data on Actual Evacuations 
  • FAA Does Not Maintain Manufacturers’ Evacuation Certification Data, Allows Use of Old Data, and More Often Relies on Analyses for Certifications

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