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

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The FAA has released a flight standardisation boardreport 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 f…

The brain might block the Go-Around call by the Co-Pilot & the Driver might not see traffic ahead

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I have always wondered how a normal situation turns abnormal in a split second. Is it a twist of fate or is the brain programmed to do so in order to help in cognition?How does the crew performing an approach to land continue to land on an unstable approachdespite the SOP’s which have multiple checks and call outs from the second pilot? The general perception is that the brain is facilitating attention by blocking out certain sensory inputs but the flip side is thatwhen the pilot is focusing on the vision to sight the runway, the brain can also be filtering out sensory inputs from the co-pilot to discontinue the approach and go-around for safety reasons.Similarly, if you are engaged in an intense conversation over the phone while driving, it doesn’t matter if the phone is held in the hand or you are using a hands-free, the brain is more engaged in the conversation than driving and unexpected objects might be missed.Preventing distractionsImagine yourself parking your car in a tight sp…

Calicut crash evidence tampered, damaged. Need for a judicial probe

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The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau has failed in its primary duty that of securing the accident site. Not only has the site been contaminated but key evidence has been destroyed and stolen. Video recorded by media channels clearly shows how the aircraft cockpit was rummaged and desecrated by groups of people looking for something in specific. It just might be a key evidence in the accident investigation. A judicial probe must be initiated to carry out a fair and unbiased investigation. The letter written to the Secretary Civil Aviation reads as follows. First Video: The video link shows the destruction of evidence  Second video:


The Secretary,
Ministry of Civil Aviation,
New Delhi, India
Dear Sir,
This is with reference to the Air India Express aircraft VT-AXH accident on 7th August 2020 at Kozhikode. This is also with reference to the emails sent to your office on 17th August 2020, 18th May 2020, 03 July 2020 & 13th August 2020 with the subject "Reinvestigation of Ghatkopar…

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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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…