Showing posts with the label Aviation

A DHL cargo plane made an emergency landing at Heathrow Airport on Saturday evening after the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit.

A DHL cargo plane made an emergency landing at Heathrow Airport on Saturday evening after the pilot reported smoke in the cockpit.The Airbus A300 touched down safely after 11pm with emergency vehicles on standby it then taxied to the terminal. Airport firefighters were supported by fire crews from London Fire brigade The incident was declared as a full emergency response.Heathrow fire crews investigated the issue but were unable to determine the cause.Reported by Airlive

Fact Checked: ICAO mandates arresting systems on runways like Kozhikode, why was it not complied with?

ICAO has defined Runway End Safety Area (RESA) in Annex-14 as a standard that must be complied with. An area symmetrical about the extended runway centre line and adjacent to the end of the
strip primarily intended to reduce the risk of damage to an aeroplane undershooting or overrunning the runway. 3.5.1 A runway end safety area shall be provided at each end of a runway strip where:
— the code number is 3 or 4; and
— the code number is 1 or 2 and the runway is an instrument one.

10.2 Where provision of a runway end safety area would be particularly prohibitive to implement, consideration would have to be given to reducing some of the declared distances of the runway for the provision of a runway end safety area and installation of an arresting system.
10.3 Research programmes, as well as evaluation of actual aircraft overruns into arresting systems, have demonstrated that the performance of some arresting systems can be predictable and effective in arresting aircraft overruns.
While it is a…

Kozhikode airport a violation of ICAO Annex 19. Why policy makers time & again prove ignorance of safety management

Both these airports meet the minimum ICAO standards. ICAO also calls for a Safety Management System to comply with ICAO Annex-19. Every situation or a combination cannot be foreseen by ICAO. This is the reason that ICAO Annex 19 was promulgated to mandate a risk based safety management.On the 14th January 2018, a Pegasus 737-800 veered off the runway at Trabzon, Turkey and came to rest on a steep slope quite close to the Black Sea.Thankfully, no casualties.The rule and the spirit of the ruleSafety managers and trained policy holders need to identify the threats and the risk associated with them. If the bare minimum mandated or recommended dimension do not meet the definition or purpose of the object, then buffers need to be incorporated or enhanced.Runway stripA defined area including the runway and stopway, if provided, intended:
a) to reduce the risk of damage to aircraft running off a runway; and
b) to protect aircraft flying over it during take-off or landing operations.
ICAO's i…

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

The Runway End Safety Area is mandated by ICAO in Annex 14 as a standard. Following is the definition:An area symmetrical about the extended runway centre line and adjacent to the end of the
strip primarily intended to reduce the risk of damage to an aeroplane undershooting or overrunning the runway.

Kozhikode airport design of the RESA has used the width of the turn pad at both ends of the runway to meet the 90m, double the width of the runway requirement of ICAO Annex-14. Unfortunately, ICAO  Annex-14 as per definition specifically defines RESA with the terms Extended Centerline and Symmetrical.This implies that RESA must extent 45m either side of the extended centerline all the way till 240m. The Kozhikode RESA does not meet the ICAO standard by 10 m.Technically if 10 m is significant, Kozhikode is not a RESA as per ICAO standards. Recommendation.— The width of a runway end safety area should, wherever practicable, be equal to that of the graded portion of the associated runway stri…

IndiGo flight followed a similar flight pattern and landed safely before the ill-fated Air India Express crashed

An IndiGo AT-72 turboprop landed at Kozhikode airport 01hr45min prior to the ill-fated Air India Express B-737.  The IndiGo ATR followed a similar flight profile befoe landing on the easterly direction runway 10 at the airport. The IndiGo ATR too attempted to land on the westerly runway 28 but discontinued the approach. The reason could be due to poor visibility in rain and/or low clouds obscuring the pilots vision in an attempt to acquire visual references of the landing runway.The second attempt was carried out on the easterly runway 10, same as the Air India Express. At the time of landing, the prevailing visibility in rain was between 1500m-2000m. The instrument landing system which guides the aircraft through electronic ground based transmitter signals to 250 feet above ground requires the visibility of atleast 1300m or more.The IndiGo ATR may have faced less severe weather and the slower turboprop may have been more forgiving. Nevertheless, this pattern can provide some interesti…

Why Air India Express crash investigation should not be handed over to Accident Investigation Board

The Aircraft Accident Investigation Board (AAIB) which reports to the Civil Aviation Ministry has reportedly been handed over the investigation of the Air India Express IX-1344 which met with an accident on 7th Aug 2020. 
Firstly the fact that AAIB reports to the MoCA is a conflict of interest.
Post Air India Express accident at Mangalore in 2010, recommendations of the Court of Inquiry (COI) included setting up of independent civil aviation safety board on the lines of NTSB, USA. The NTSB initially reported to the Department of Transport but later, in order to remove the conflict of interest, was made fully independent and now reports to the Congress.
Additional recommendations were issued post the release of the final report. The Civil aviation ministry released a document an year after Mangalore accident highlighting the completion of work carried out to address the recommendations of the investigation report.
The Kozhikode accident of IX1344 is a grim reminder of the repeat of Mangalo…

Storm passing over Calicut when the accident happened.

Credit @simon_sat

Mangalore Accident recommendation for table top runways ignored. 10 years later another accident. Where does the buck stop?

The Mangalore accident investigation report recommended the folowing for table top runways like the Calicut runway, almost a 100 feet drop.
Considering the large number of runway excursions leading to hull loss accidents, ideally an arresting system like the Engineering Material Arresting System (EMAS) should be installed on the runway overshoot areas, especially for Table Top airports like Mangalore.

No Human Factor experts, Investigations flawed, Policy maker cluseless about Safety management. This is the Nadir.

Aviation safety in India is truly at the Nadir with the unfortunate accident of the Air India Express B737 at Calicut on 7th Aug 2020. After 22nd May 2010 when the Air India Express B737 crashed at Mangalore, there was a thorough investigation with numerous recommendations. Unfortunately, a year down the line all was forgotten. 2019 monsoon saw a spate of runway excursions. Instead of determining the root cause, the regulator decided to address the symptom. They cracked the whip and suspended more than 40 pilots. A proud regulator made a statement that cracking the whip worked and there were no SOP violations in December 2019. 
Problem: 1. The policy makers have no understanding of risk analysis and safety management systems. 2. Investigations are flawed and no action is taken on the real culprits. 3. There are no human factor experts to understand why the error passes through all the barriers to end up in an accident. Statement by the regulator. 

Air India Express from Dubai to Calicut runway excursion at Calicut in rain