Posts

Showing posts with the label Incident

Another Training aircraft crash highlights regulatory failure

Image
India has witnessed an increasing number of training aircraft accidents over the past few years. Flight schools are the foundation of pilot training. The airlines and other operators depend on these institutions to churn out high caliber professional to assure safety and efficiency in air transport. Unfortunately, these very institutions are facing the wrath of a crumbling regulatory setup. The safety systems are dependent on proactive and reactive measures to assure safety. The regulator has demonstrated inadequate oversight of activities and poor standards/quality. The investigation from which the industry learns to prevent future accidents is unable to perform due to poor quality of accident investigation reports.  Commercials has clearly been given precedence over safety. A number of investigations are motivated to shield the operator and/or poor infrastructure. An example is the comments in the attached clip. The system is a closed setup and does not encourage collaborative decisi

Qatar Airways avoids potential traffic collision with a crossing aircraft over Iran

Image
  A Qatar Airways newly acquired Airbus A-350-1000 series aircraft had a close call over Iran on 12th April when it came into close proximity with another crossing aircraft. The airliner equipped with the state of art technology and traffic collision avoidance system was seen climbing by about 500ft while cruising at 34000ft on a flight from Doha, Qatar to Los Angles, USA.           Flightradar24 plotted aircraft track The automated TCAS detects an incoming aircraft and if it identifies the other aircraft on a potential collision trajectory, she arms the traffic collision avoidance system. When the intruder crosses a pre-set threshold , the system automatically initiates an avoidance maneuver to provide the minimum safe separation between two aircrafts. Altitude increase/ Speed decay due to traffic avoidance In this incident the Qatar Airways A350 registration 97-ANO dropped its speed by almost 35km/hr while cruising at 888km/hr. This drop in speed at an high altitude is not safe since

A virtual reality solution for the accident prone helicopters

Image
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

Singapore Airlines B777 levels out at 500ft, as strong cultures overshadow procedures

Image
  I am a true believer that society and culture cannot be separated from work and training. However best the training may be, it is under a controlled environment and the performance indicators needed to be achieved are briefed before hand. The crew undergoing training works together to achieve their objective and they are driven by performance indicators required to be achieved to declare them competent. In the real world, the motivation, drive and targets are not briefed as well as they are in a training environment. There are a lot many distractions and personal cultures and behavioral influences are lot more active as compared to a training environment.   The First Officer of this Singapore Airlines B777 departing from Shanghai, China was a Multi Crew Pilot License holder with over 1700hrs flight experience on type. The essence of an MPL training program is multi crew coordination and threat error management. Therefore it can be safely assuming that the crew had demonstrated all th

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

Image
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

Image
  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

Risky approach & poor investigation of a close shave for 145 Air India passengers at Surat

Image
Source: DGCA incident report An Air India A320 from New Delhi to Surat on 04th Oct 2017 had a narrow escape from disaster when the crew decided to continue with a high speed approach and touched down late, more than half way down the runway. The investigation was carried out by a sole investigator and the report submitted 3 years hence, which is 3 times later than an accident report would have taken. This gives an indication of the weightage that is given by the authorities to find out the root cause and prevent such occurrences. The report reveals that the aircraft touched down at the position as indicated in the pictorial description above. The report findings document that 600m was remaining for the flight crew to stop the aircraft. The visibility was absolutely clear but the investigator did not question the Air Traffic Controller why no one could see the aircraft overshoot the runway and report the same? The aircraft was not grounded and the cockpit voice recorder which is a vital

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

Image
  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

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

Image
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.

Image
  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?

Image
  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