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

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  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

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. There are depressions on the runway more than 3mm where water accumulates.

On the day when it was raining, the braking values may have been much lower than those that have been projected.

Read the blog on Hydroplaning

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