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Showing posts with the label Accident

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

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

AirIndia Express Co-Pilot's life & others lost probably to a failed emergency response plan

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  The crash of the Boeing 777 on July 6th 2013, at San Francisco killed two and injured more than 180. The first police and fire personnel arrived at the crash scene in about two minutes, and local officials said brave rescue efforts and effective triage of the many wounded likely saved lives.  A stark contrast was the Air India Express IX1344 accident at Calicut airport where the aircraft plunged 35 meters killing 21 people including the pilots. The victims were transported to various hospitals in ambulances and private vehicles. While ambulances are equipped with life saving medical equipment, the Co-Pilot was rushed to a hospital 25km away an hours drive on the backseat of a private car thereby depriving him of the critical life saving equipment. While it was a helping gesture but who ever decided this inhumane treatment to the co-pilot did contribute to the sad demise of the young pilot. The airport emergency response plan which is mandatory and is rehearsed periodically failed mis

Toxic Cabin air may be causing neurological problems in airlines crew

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On 2nd Feb 2012, an aircraft took off from Stockholm/Bromma airport for a scheduled flight to Malmö/Sturup. After approximately five minutes the commander was affected by dizziness and nausea and therefore handed over the controls to the co-pilot. The flight was discontinued and the aircraft diverted back towards Bromma. Captain Andrew Myers, worked for JetBlue for 15 years but then in 2017 he became ill with a number of alarming health conditions, including toxic encephalopathy, which is a neurologic disorder, and neurocognitive disorder as well as visual difficulties, which could be permanent.The State of Oregon Workers’ Compensation Board in August 2020, ruled in favour of Myers, which in essence establishes the fact that Myers did indeed fall ill from toxic cabin air. This decision is significant because for years, the airline industry has denied the existence of what is known as aero-toxic syndrome, or exposure to toxic cabin air. Myers will now be paid several years of compensat

A virtual reality solution for the accident prone helicopters

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A virtual reality based flight simulator may provide the solution to the helicopter industry for pilot training and other safety aspects. EASA has approved the first virtual reality based flight simulation device. “This is a significant milestone in the evolution of Flight Simulation Training Devices,” said Jesper Rasmussen, EASA Flight Standards Director. “The Agency is pursuing the modernisation of its regulation for training devices to reflect their actual capability and technology advancement. This evolution will make a wider range of cost-effective training devices available to complement Full Flight Simulators and is being driven in part by training needs for new Vertical Take Off & Landing (VTOL) aircraft. Robinson Helicopter Crash History The Robinson helicopters have been notorious worldwide with the R44 model accounting for 1.6 accident per 1000,000 hrs. Robinson Helicopter Company began in 1973 as a helicopter manufacturing company, based in Southern California, which pr

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

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Approach at Pakyong airport The cosy relationship between SpiceJet and the Indian aviation regulator stands exposed when each day passengers and crew fly to and from from Pakyong airport built on a table top with hills on one side and a deep valley on the other. Whereas passengers are oblivious to the risks involved with the flight that they are traveling on, the crew are living on a prayer that they come back safely. Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim which is the home to glaciers, alpine meadows and thousands of varieties of wildflowers. Steep paths lead to hilltop Buddhist monasteries such as Pemayangtse, which dates to the early 1700s. Access to Gangtok has always been by road which takes five hours to reach from the nearest airport, which is Baghdogra. Sikkim is also of strategic importance due to its location. The construction of an airport at Pakyong near Gangtok would therefore would hold much importance and with the inauguration of the airport by the Prime Minister in Sept 2018,

Seconds away from disaster, IndiGo pilots react swiftly using well trained maneuver

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  IndiGo ATR 6E7972 IndiGo ATR-72 taking off from Shillong airport 0n 27th Feb 2021was seconds away from disaster when the enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS) alerted the crew that the flight path that they had chosen to fly would end up flying into a hill ahead. 30 seconds from impact IndiGo ATR The crew were alerted approx. 30 seconds before impact with mountains, by an automated visual and audio alert "TERRAIN AHEAD PULL UP". The crew reacted instinctively as per well rehearsed training procedures to steer the aircraft away from danger. Everyone is prone to errors and there are warnings too but it is a well trained crew who is able to react in a timely manner to prove the effectiveness of training. ‘Saves’ – An accident avoided.(Source ICAO) The industry has recorded a number of ‘saves’ where EGPWS provided a timely alert to the crew to avoid an accident; some of these events were sufficiently serious that national authority investigations were required, repor

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.

Air Djibouti suffers landing gear collapse on landing, no injuries

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  Air Djibouti the African Airline, Boeing B-737 suffered a landing gear collapse on landing at Garowe airport, Somalia. No injuries have been reported. AvHerald reports: An Air Djibouti Boeing 737-500, registration EY-560 performing flight IV-206 from Hargeisa (Somaliland/Somalia) to Garowe (Puntland/Somalia) with 39 passengers and 5 crew, landed at Garowe (capital of Puntland) Airport's runway 04 at about 09:30L (06:30Z) but suffered the collapse of the right hand main gear at low speed. The aircraft veered to the right but came to a stop within the runway edge resting on right hand engine, left main and nose gear. There were no injuries, the passengers disembarked/evacuated onto the runway and were taken to the terminal. The flight had originated in Djibouti (Djibouti) and was destined for Mogadishu (Somalia) with intermediate stops in Hargeisa and Garowe. Garowe International Airport features an asphalt runway 04/22 of 2000 meters/6600 feet length. Local Media report the airpor

Boeing risk assessment had predicted 15 B737 Max accidents & 2900 deaths, was it acceptable to the DGCA?

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  The final committee report prepared by the USA committee on transport and infrastructure has carried out a comprehensive study on the design development and certification of the Boeing 737 Max based on the facts & data when it was certified to fly for the first time. There were two tragic accidents which followed , in quick succession which everyone will remember, the Lion Air and the Ethiopian airways. The B737 Max fleet was grounded worldwide. There are a number of startling yet expected conclusions that the report draws but there is one which no one must ignore. "In December 2018, the FAA conducted a risk assessment based on its Transport Aircraft Risk Assessment Methodology (TARAM) and estimated that without a fix to MCAS, during the lifetime of the 737 MAX fleet, there could potentially be 15 additional fatal crashes resulting in over 2,900 deaths ." Read the full report here.. Slide 1 The obvious question, why weren't the aircrafts grounded? The Boeing officia

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

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B737 Max Flight Simulator  The FAA has released a f light 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 fi

Kozhikode runway friction delayed as top policy makers certify the runway safe for operations

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The runway friction test is mandated by the DGCA to be carried out periodically for safe flight operations.  A medium to big aircraft typically lands at a speed of 220-260 kmph. The primary means of stopping the aircraft is with the wheel brakes like any other vehicle. Since the runway length is limited,it is therefore important that the runway is not slippery & the wheels have a good grip on the runway by generating friction between the two surfaces.Lesser friction would mean lesser braking response. Factors that affect braking are the condition of the runway, dry/wet & rubber deposits. Each landing of the aircraft leaves behind about 700 gms of rubber from the tires due to sudden wheel spin up and this accumulates over a period of time depending on how busy the airport is.  If the rubber is not removed periodically, the grains of the runway surface which provide the grip get filled with the rubber and they become smooth. Adding to this if there is even a film of water few mil

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

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  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

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

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  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