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.

FAA proposes draft B-737 Max Training only for US carriers & registered aircraft only

B737 Max Flight Simulator


 The FAA has released a flight standardisation board report relating to B-737 Max pilot training. Soon after, an addendum was issued too. 

While FAA has clearly stated that the training required in the FSB is mandated for US air carriers & US registered aircrafts, other aviation authorities must take their own action for the return of the B-737 Max.

Question, will the Indian regulator follow a systematic process of change management and not be rushed into the re-entry process? Will the FSB report adopted in toto and will the regulators draft training requirements be put out for public comments?

The key highlights are quoted below from the FAA website as of 7th Oct 2020:

While this is an important step, several key milestones remain:

  • Final Design Documentation and Technical Advisory Board (TAB) Report – The FAA will review Boeing’s final design documentation to evaluate compliance with all FAA regulations. The multi-agency TAB will also review the final Boeing submission and issue a final report prior to a final determination of compliance by the FAA.
  • Continued Airworthiness Notification to the International Community (CANIC) & AD – The FAA will issue a CANIC providing notice of pending significant safety actions and will publish a final AD that addresses the known issues for grounding. The AD will advise operators of required corrective actions before aircraft may re-enter commercial service.
  • FAA Rescinds Grounding Order – This marks the official ungrounding of the aircraft, pending completion by operators of the work specified in the AD, along with any required training.
  • Certificates of Airworthiness – The FAA will retain its authority to issue airworthiness certificates and export certificates for all new 737 MAX airplanes manufactured since the grounding. The FAA will perform in-person, individual reviews of these aircraft.
  • Operator Training Programs – The FAA will review and approve training programs for all Part 121 operators.

These actions are applicable only to U.S. air carriers and U.S.-registered aircraft. While our processes will inform other civil aviation authorities, they must take their own actions to return the Boeing 737 MAX to service for their air carriers.  The FAA will ensure that our international counterparts have all necessary information to make a timely, safety-focused decision.

 

 

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