AVIATION SAFETY SURVEY-NOVEMBER, 2019

 

01 Nov 19-Replace old engines on 97 aircraft by Jan ‘at all costs’: DGCA to Indigo.

 

Aviation regulator DGCA asked Indigo on Friday to replace Pratt and Whitney (PW) engines of 23 A320neo planes by November 19 or else they would be grounded.

The regulator also asked Indigo that all 97 such aircraft in its fleet must have modified PW engines by January 31 next year “at all costs”.

The DGCA directive came after the airline faced four engine malfunctions in A320neo planes in the last one week, which “has caused serious concern and resultant disruption”.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Monday had asked Indigo to replace 16 A320neo planes’ PW engines, which have been used for more than 2900 hours, by November 12 but it found later that seven more aircraft are flying with such engines.

“Kindly note that after that none of these 23 aircraft, which does not have at least one LPT (low pressure turbine) modified engine on its wings, shall be allowed for commercial operation and their schedule will suitably be curtailed till this is accomplished,” the DGCA said in a press note.

On Wednesday, one of the Pratt and Whitney engines of an IndiGo A320neo plane that was heading to Pune stalled mid-air, forcing the pilot to return to Kolkata.

On three consecutive days from October 24 to 26, IndiGo had three in-flight PW engine shutdowns, compelling the DGCA to visit the airlines’ premises on Monday to review the maintenance and safety data.

 

Experts question DGCA over Jan-end deadline to IndiGo, GoAir

 

Passengers and experts have questioned the decision by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to give IndiGo and GoAir time until January 31, 2020, to replace unmodified engines for its A320neo fleet.
On October 26, DGCA had taken note of engine failures reported on A320neo fleet on four consecutive days and directed both the airlines to replace engines in operation for more than 2,900 hours with a Low Pressure Turbine (LPT) modified engine.
The directive was to replace at least one of the two engines in 16 aircraft for Indigo and 13 for GoAir by November 19. On November 1, the regulator changed its directive and asked IndiGo to change both the engines to LPT modified engines in all its 97 A320neo aircraft by January 31, 2020.
GoAir has 36 A320neos in its fleet. “In case it’s not done, such aircraft shall not be allowed to fly with unmodified engines. You may like to stagger or defer your future induction plan and procure sufficient number of modified engines to keep the existing fleet in operation,” said the DGCA directive.
“If the A320neos are not safe, why is the DGCA not grounding these aircraft? It is like the DGCA telling passengers you have 90 days to die in a crash,” said Ravi Nair, a 54-year-old consultant who had a frightening experience during a Cochin-Mumbai flight in 2018.
Aviation safety expert Capt Mohan Ranganathan said, “After a series of failures reported on IndiGo and Spicejet in July, DGCA had served them show-cause notices. With repeat episodes in October, what has the regulator been doing?” He said either DGCA should ground the aircraft or engage pilots-in-command with not less than 2,000 hours.
03/11/19 Satish Nandgaonkar/Mumbai Mirror

 

IndiGo, GoAir To Replace 111 Engines In 72 Days After Mid-Air Glitches: Government

New Delhi:  IndiGo and GoAir will have to replace 111 and 54 Pratt and Whitney (PW) engines respectively within the next 72 days in their A320neo planes, the government told Parliament on Wednesday.
Replying to a written question in the Rajya Sabha, Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri said IndiGo and GoAir were asked by aviation regulator DGCA earlier this month to replace 196 and 76 PW engines respectively with modified engines.

On November 1, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had told the airlines to replace the PW engines under both wings of 97 A320neo aircraft “at all costs” by January 31 or they would be grounded.

The aviation regulator had also said “desperate measures” were required to “put things in order”

Comments by ASMSI.

Engine stalling, vibrations and failure of A 320 Neo are very serious hazards to Safety. Unfortunately the Indigo and Go Air operating aircraft with these engines are having recurring serious engine problems. Although DGCA is caught between the commercial interest and uninterrupted passenger operations by the airlines and safety of passengers, yet, it has been actively monitoring the situation and is interacting with manufacturers and the airlines to mitigate the risk by directing airlines to change the trouble prone engines on highest priority. Getting engine replacement on number of aircrafts flying with NEO is major problem for the manufacturer who seem to be unable to cope with demand of large number of engine replacements. It is to the credit of DGCA that having analyzing the cause of engine shut down on Indigo aircraft, the Indigo Pilots have been advised not to use full power during Takeoff and climb phase and keep it limited to 93 % of full power so that engines are not stressed. It is pertinent to mention here that GO Air has been using the technique as advised by DGCA since quite some time and the problem with NEO engines in GO Air is comparative less. Hope this technique of reduction in power reduces the occurrences and our airline operations are safe. DGCA has kept Safety First in Mind and has given deadline to the airlines to get the engines replaced by 31 Jan under all circumstances. Meantime, the airlines have to exercise extreme caution and keep the safety of the passengers uppermost in mind.

01 Nov 19-Bag with suspected RDX found in Delhi airport’s T3 terminal

New Delhi: A bag with suspected RDX was found at Delhi airport in the early hours of Friday, leading to restrictions on passenger movement for a couple of hours, officials said.

The black bag, first detected around 1 am by a CISF guard in the arrival area of Terminal-3, has now been kept in a cooling pit.

Preliminary inputs suggest the bag contained RDX. It was checked by an explosive detector and a dog. However, the exact nature of the explosive is being ascertained, sources said.

It could be an explosive or an improvised explosive device (IED), but it is not clear at present, the sources said.

Delhi Police said it received a call around 1 am, following which the bag was found at arrival gate two of the terminal.

“The bag was removed with the help of the CISF. It has not been opened yet. It seems like there are some electric wire inside it. We have increased the security on the airport premises,” said Sanjay Bhatia, deputy commissioner of police (airport).
01/11/19 PTI/Telegraph

 

Comments by ASMSI

 

The detection of explosive device (possibly RDX) inside the T 3 airport is a matter of grave concern. With a fanatic neighbor who is determined to create disruptions in our country, it is high time to be even more extra vigilant and alert. Intelligence gathering has to be of very high order and the airport security staff and the senior officials have to be fully involved to ensure speedy response. The need to have experts on call to address the issues related to handling of explosive materials including IED’s cannot be over emphasised. Even security of the aircraft on approach, take off path, taxying and parked needs to be looked into by the concerned agencies.

Security audits of the Security services should be conducted more often keeping all the aspects in mind and immediate remedial measures instituted to eliminate the weak areas regardless of expenditure. Drone may also be involve by militant organisations in targeting airports and aircraft. Breach of Cyber security with the possible jamming of air traffic communication and Nav aids is another area of threat which needs to be addressed. With Kashmir problem still festering, we cannot afford to lower our guards and heightened security arrangements is the need of the hour to safeguard our vital assets, particularly, at the Airports which appear to be soft targets. It is acknowledged that our Security and Intelligence Agencies are doing a great job and they will also be in the process of further security enhancements.

 

01 Nov 19-False fire alarm forces IndiGo pilots to declare emergency mid-air, land back at Chennai airport.

 

Pilots flying the IndiGo’s Chennai-Kuwait flight declared emergency in the early hours of Friday and landed back at the Chennai airport soon after the departure due to a fire alarm, which later turned out to be false, said a source.

The A320neo plane had taken off around 1.20 am with more than 160 passengers.

Just 15 minutes after the departure, the pilots observed a fire alarm and immediately relayed the emergency code 7700 to all Air Traffic Controls, said a source privy to the development.

The fire alarm was later found to be because of faulty smoke detectors in cargo compartment, the source said.
01/11/19 PTI/India Today

 

Comments by ASMSI.

 

The occurrence of safety issues with Indigo A 320 NEO are never ending and so many incidents are certainly cause of serious concern. The Pilots, Maintenance Staff and the Regulator are seized of the problems, working hard and hopefully, safety of the passengers, will not be compromised at any cost.

 

02 Nov 19-Flight delayed at SVPI following tow-bar failure.

 

Ahmedabad: An aircraft that suffered a bird-hit on Thursday morning, caused a delay in the departure of a Mumbai-bound flight from Ahmedabad airport on Friday morning. Sources at Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) Airport confirmed that passengers aboard the Mumbai-bound flight, SG-636, operated by low-cost carrier, Spice Jet, were made to wait in the aircraft early on Friday. The cause of the delay was an aircraft that was under repair for the past day.
Early on Thursday morning, Air India flight AI-018, scheduled to depart from Ahmedabad for Delhi at 7.10am, returned to the city airport10-minutes after take-off.
“It had suffered a bird-hit while airborne and was forced to return to Ahmedabad airport soon after take-off.
The engine blades of the aircraft – an Airbus A321 – were damaged. Alternative travel and accommodation arrangements were made for passengers depending on their preference,” a source in the airline said.
The said aircraft, Air India’s A321, was not cleared for take-off till the next morning.
“Around 5.30am on Friday, after certain engine tests, the aircraft was being towed via the taxiway to a parking bay.
The tow-bar bolt connecting the towing vehicle to the aircraft broke, leaving the aircraft in the middle of the taxiway. At this time, SpiceJet’s Boeing 738 aircraft (SG-636) was scheduled to take-off and had been following the A321 on the taxiway.

 

03 Nov 19-There’s a bird along the route, Ahmedabad airport warns pilots.

Ahmedabad: Taking a much-needed measure to prevent bird hits, authorities of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International (SVPI) airport in Ahmedabad, have now begun to caution pilots about bird movements along the route. Airport authorities confirmed that they have begun issuing NOTAM (Notice to Air Men) warnings to pilots informing them about movement of birds in and around the airport vicinity.
“The practice has begun since a month at SVPI airport, where the air traffic controller (ATC) notifies the pilot about bird movement in and along the route and in the vicinity,” said Manoj Gangal, director, SVPI airport.
“Of late, we have observed an increase in the bird movements and this is primarily because of the dismantling of the Pirana garbage dump which draws predatory birds. The dump site falls along the funnel area i.e. take-off and landing route of the aircraft. Dismantling of the dump has disturbed the ecological balance in the region,” he added.
“The decision to notify pilots is a proactive measure taken by Airports Authority of India (AAI) to prevent bird hits,” Gangal said.
03/11/19 Niyati Parikh/Times of India

 

Comments by ASMSI

It is surprising that the incident of bird hit to Air India aircraft soon after takeoff and aircraft returning due bird hit has been mentioned in passing and the delay of the Spice jet Flight due to the tow bar breaking which caused the Air India Aircraft getting stuck on the Taxiway thus delaying the takeoff of Spice jet has been given as headline.

Ahmadabad airport  is notorious for bird and animal hazards.  ASMSI compliments Mr Manoj Gangal, Director, Ahmedabad Airport for taking Proactive Steps to mitigate bird strike related accidents. ATC has been rightly instructed to inform the Pilots every time they approach or depart from Ahmedabad. All Airlines and other Operators also must disseminate to their Pilots about the bird hazards at Ahmedabad airport and the alertness they should maintain while operating from the Ahmedabad Airport..

 

Ground handling staffer injured in airport mishap

 

Vasco: A ground handling staffer was grievously injured when a catering vehicle and a ground handling vehicle collided at Dabolim airport on Thursday evening.

The incident took place soon after the landing of a Dubai-bound Bangalore Goa Air India (IC 993) aircraft that arrived at Dabolim airport at around 5.45 pm.

The airport sources disclosed that the Dubai-bound Bangalore Goa Air India aircraft did not face any issue due to collision of the above vehicles.

The passengers travelling to Dubai from Goa were stranded for nearly two hours. The aircraft left from Goa at around 7.45 pm.

“A catering vehicle and a ground handling vehicle, which were approaching towards the aircraft, had a minor collision resulting in a ground handling staffer getting injured,” disclosed airport sources.

The injured staffer was rushed to hospital and was said to be in a critical state, informed the sources.

There was no damage caused to the aircraft as the incident occurred few seconds prior to the docking of the aircraft. “The aircraft was not directly involved in the incident,” informed the sources.

Meanwhile, highly-placed sources disclosed that the incident took place due to failure of hydraulic movement of catering vehicle which was approaching towards the aircraft.

 

Comments by ASMSI

Almost all the Ground Accidents/Incidents are preventable. Recent DGCA audit at some airports found number of lapses in Ground handling. Requirement of On Time Performance and timely departures, arrivals, congested aprons and multiple ground handling agencies are some of the areas which need good supervision and continuous monitoring by the concerned staff. DGCA and Third Party Audits at frequent intervals can go a long way in instilling sense of discipline and dedicated involvement of the concerned personnel at all times.

A petition has been filed against a new Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) which increases the flight timings of aviators and reduces their rest periods. Is this a recipe for disaster and will it jeopardise passenger safety? 

“Sleepless in the cockpit” can be the new buzzword for exhausted civilian pilots in India. It is an issue that has exercised the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), airlines and pilots for years. And courts have repeatedly pulled up airlines for violating laws which govern flight duty time limitations (FDTL) and rest periods of pilots. The turbulence refuses to die down despite numerous petitions and studies by aviation medicine experts which have said that being alert or sleepy can make all the difference between life and death in the aviation sector.

FDTL was implemented by the DGCA in 2011 after the Air India Express crash in Mangalore (2010) which killed 158 passengers. Pilot fatigue was found to be the cause of it. After this, a government committee under former DGCA head Dr Nasim Zaidi was formed which gave an exhaustive report which scientifically looked into FDTL and rest requirements for flight crew and had aviation medicine specialists from the Indian Air Force. The panel had categorically said: “Sleep and fatigue science has unequivocally established the role of adequate rest in mitigating fatigue.”

Now a petition has been filed in the Karnataka High Court by a 69-year-old Bengaluru resident, Vinod Kumar Vyas, who questioned three specific clauses of the 2019 Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR) of the DGCA concerning rest, duty time and sleep of pilots. These, he claimed, had diluted the earlier 2011 CAR. Following the petition, Karnataka Chief Justice Abhay Shreeniwas Oka and Justice SR Krishna Kumar issued a notice to the ministry of civil aviation and DGCA, which they have to reply to by November 19, 2019.

In a scathing indictment of airlines, the petition alleged: “The CAR 2011 extensively laid down flight time and flight duty period restrictions and guidelines for the operators to follow. As per Rule 44A of the Aircraft Rules, every Airline Operator is required to formulate a ‘Scheme’ on the Flight Duty Time Limitations as per the CAR. Thereafter, the operator is required to get the Scheme approved by the DGCA….With a view to widen the pool of availability of pilots, it appears that the operators prevailed upon the DGCA to modify the CAR, by diluting the regulations relating to flight duty, rest and night operations. It further appears that, without consulting all the stakeholders and without conducting any scientific study, the DGCA has now issued a new Civil Aviation Requirement dated 24/04/2019, which is hereinafter referred to as the CAR 2019.” The new CAR, he said, was in violation of International Civil Aviation Organisation guidelines and the Dr Nasim Zaidi Committee.

Vyas specifically mentioned Clause 13 and 16 in the 2019 CAR. Clause 13, which deals with Consecutive Night Operation, says: “Flight crew shall neither be detailed nor undertake any flight duty between periods embracing 0000 to 0500 hrs local time for more than two consecutive nights except once within a period of 168 hours.” Between 12 midnight and 5 am is the period of circadian low when the alertness of an individual is at its lowest. But this new Clause allows airlines to put pilots on two consecutive nights of flight operations. However, the 2011 CAR had barred airlines from doing so.

Clause 16 deals with Unforeseen Operational Circumstances and this, too, was changed. From the existing maximum flight time of three hours and flight duty period of six hours over 30 days, CAR 2019 has increased it to a maximum flight time of 4.5 hours and flight duty period to 9 hours over 28 days. “This,” Vyas said, was “bound to add to the fatigue, exponentially, of the crew members and contribute to various hazards.”

He also asked the Court to direct DGCA to implement the recommendations of the Nasim Zaidi Committee. This panel had given an allowance of 30 minutes to pilots for post-flight duties such as parking, doing checklists, interacting with engineers, customs and immigration checks. It said this time should be included in “flight duty time”. However, CAR 2019 (Clause 4.1.2) has left this to the discretion of the operator/airline. Vyas said: “Any reduction in the standard allowance towards the post flight duty would eat into the ‘rest’ period of the pilots.” He urged the Court to quash these Clauses as they were “arbitrary and unreasonable”.

Vyas brought the Court’s notice to various disasters which took place due to pilot fatigue. The Mangalore one is an apt example. But airlines have ignored these guidelines, jeopardising the lives of their own personnel and passengers in the pursuit of profit, he said.

When India Legal contacted Arun Kumar, the Director General of Civil Aviation, he said: “I cannot comment on this matter as it is sub judice. We will reply to the notice sent to us by the Karnataka High Court and submit our reasons to it.”

An aviation medicine expert of repute told India Legal: “All three points raised by the petitioner are valid observations and in the interest of flight safety. Their dilution in favour of the operators/airlines appears arbitrary and unfounded. These changes appear to have been made to overcome operational difficulties without a full appreciation of the possible implications.

“My advice to operators and airline managements would be to ensure the continued good health and fitness of their flight crew. By not diluting FDTL they will succeed in not only creating a happy and healthy environment in this crucial HR segment, but seriously reduce chances of flight crew impairment and therefore minimise incidents and accidents attributable to human error.”

A senior commander told India Legal that it would be in the fitness of things if airlines could roster pilots for one continuous shift of a week or a month so that the body gets acclimatised to various timings.

Arvind Kamath, the senior counsel representing Vyas, told India Legal: “My client lost his brother-in-law in 1993 in an air crash in Bengaluru. Ever since, he has followed DGCA’s safety regulations. He wants to know if any scientific study has been done by the DGCA before these clauses were changed. The DGCA is not an expert body; the Zaidi panel was.” Kamath said the main motive of any airline is to make profits and the DGCA should protect the pilots who have no representation there. “Their rest period should not be tinkered with. Vyas wants these clauses quashed. With India expected to be the third largest aviation market, safety has to be paramount.”

Courts have earlier too pulled up airlines over this matter. In April 2018, the Delhi High Court responded to a petition filed by lawyer Yeshwanth Shenoy and came down heavily on the DGCA and airlines for violating FDTL norms.  The DGCA was given a year to correct this. It later gave guidelines which mandated strict rest periods. But airline operators protested, saying this would cause commercial loss.  The DGCA then allowed airlines to make their own risk assessment and rules. Affidavits were filed asking why this was allowed. But in November 2018, the DGCA recommended new changes. Pilot unions protested but to no avail.

DGCA’s tough stand towards pilots was seen in 2016 also when it cracked down on those reporting sick. It came out with a draft CAR which seemed to bat for airlines. It said: “Patterns have been observed wherein pilots rostered for flights report sick….This is a highly undesirable practice and goes against the public interest.” It said such an action could attract the provisions of sub-rule (2) of rule 39A of the Aircraft Rules, 1937, which reads: “The Central Government may debar a person permanently or temporarily from holding any license or rating mentioned in rule 38 if in its opinion it is necessary to do so in the public interest.” It further added: “Airlines publish planned flight roster for pilots on periodic basis….However, due to the dynamic nature of flight operations, such planned roster undergoes change at regular intervals. Pilots shall undertake the flight duties as per the dynamic roster as long as they are within the FDTL norms.” This too became a bone of contention with pilot unions issuing a legal notice to DGCA.

With airlines on a fast-expansion spree, pilots are being flogged like never before. But at what cost? It is the lives of passengers that are at risk.

Comments by ASMSI.

The matter is Sub Judice. ASMSI has highest respect for our Judiciary. The comments of ASMSI are related to Safety aspects on the subject matter and may be seen in that light. The issue of FTL and FDTL has always been a matter of tussle between Pilots and Airlines. While it is an established fact that fatigue of the pilots has led to number of accidents worldwide, most of the airlines pay more attention to financial aspects for obvious reasons without seriously considering the adverse impact of fatigue of pilots on safety. Sometimes, Pilots are pressured DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY to undertake flights even when they are fatigued. The aspect of additional fatigue due to operations in adverse weather conditions, congested traffic environments, non-availability/unserviceability of Nav, Approach aids, pre, post flight activities and travel distance to Hotels, Airports also need to be taken into account while considering fatigue factor of aircrew. DGCA hopefully has given safety aspects serious consideration before promulgating the CAR. A healthy balance between commercial interest of airlines and safety must be achieved by the Regulator. DGCA may consider revisiting the CAR and address the concerns of the Pilots.

 

Cracked window on Spice Jet flight shocks passenger, airline regrets.


 A passenger travelling on a Mumbai-Delhi Spice Jet flight shared a picture of a cracked window pane on the plane, following which the airline has apologised.

When the passenger posted the picture on Twitter, SpiceJet issued a statement apologising for the same.

“Safety is our utmost concern and at no point in time does the airline compromise on the same. We shall surely convey this to the concerned head for necessary action. The inconvenience caused is regretted,” the airline said.

However, the passenger further confronted the airline and said, “If there is a cello tape pasted, it means someone has seen it and aware of the situation. The airline said it has highlighted the matter to the concerned head for necessary action.

It is worth noting that if a window breaks completely when a flight is in midair, the compressed air inside the plane rushes out and cabin pressure drops.

Experts say that anybody sitting close to a broken window on a plane, it could suck out the passenger. Within seconds, the pressure and temperature inside the aircraft will fall and it will become very noisy inside the cabin.

Passengers can face extreme breathing problems as well, especially those with respiratory issues. Fortunately for the passengers on board Spice Jet flight SG8152, the window was just cracked and not completely broken.

Comments by ASMSI.

It is very disturbing to learn about such safety compromises especially by a well-established airline. The Passenger was justified in raising the issue with the airline. The crack can lead to disintegration of the Window leading to serious consequences. Even if the airline Engineers felt that the crack is minor and after due diligence decided to just put the Cello Tape to prevent the further increase in the crack, the same should have been brought to the notice of DGCA for approval of the  use of Cello Tape if at all permitted. We wonder if such ad hoc practice particularly on an airline can be permitted unless the manufacturer has included in the Maintenance Manual. Hopefully DGCA must have taken note of this lapse and taken appropriate action.

06 Nov 19-Working with airlines on how to tell passengers that 737 Max is Safe.

New Delhi: Amid concerns over alleged technical defects in 737 Max planes, a senior Boeing official said on Wednesday that it was in discussion with various customer airlines and their pilots and cabin crew members to figure out how to communicate to passengers that the aircraft was “ultimately safe”.
On March 13 this year, all Boeing 737 Max planes were grounded in India by the aviation regulator DGCA after the crash of an Ethiopian Airlines’ 737 Max plane on March 10 near Addis Ababa, in which 157 people were killed, including four Indians.


Spice Jet had to ground 12 aircraft, forcing it to cancel a significant number of flights on that day as well as on March 14.

“We are working with pilot community…of the customer airlines and the flight attendants. We are working with our customers (airlines) to figure out how we can communicate the message to passengers,” said Darren Hulst, Deputy Vice President of Commercial Marketing, Boeing in New Delhi.

“We want to be very transparent, we want to be sensitive to each individual airline and their customers (passengers) to make sure that they can deliver the message about what happened, but also why the aircraft is ultimately safe, and should be safe to fly,” he added.

 

 

Comments by ASMSI.

 

Top Management of Boeing is obviously concerned about the delay in getting Regulatory Clearances to get B 737 Max in the air for commercial Operations. Regardless of the losses being suffered by the Airlines and the Manufacturer, the Regulator should fully satisfy themselves about the Safety aspects of the aircraft before giving a green signal. The aircraft must be Safe and “not” should be Safe. After the necessary fail safe, reliable modifications by the Manufacturer and full satisfaction of the Regulator about the Airworthiness of the aircraft, the manufacturer need to win the confidence of the Pilots who are going to fly the aircraft. The Simulator training and on the job training of the Pilots should be adequate to instill the sense of the confidence of the Pilots in the aircraft. Passenger confidence is essential and the Regulator, Media and Airlines can play an important role in restoring their faith in the safety of the aircraft.

 

 

9 Nov 19-New Delhi: Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which on Friday conducted a surprise check at Delhi airport on the safety standards of airlines, found glaring drawbacks in the procedures adopted by leading carriers.

The checks were conducted after DGCA started accepting anonymous complaints. Under the second series of checks, four flights were scrutinised where safety operations were found to be lax. In the first flight, DGCA officials found that the arrival checklist was not available to the ramp supervisor and that safety cones were placed incorrectly.

“The stepladder did not have anti-collision lights installed. The driver did not have a competency card and safety gloves that are used by loaders were completely torn,” said an official. The next flight that was checked, officials found that no engineer or technician was available at the time of arrival, trollies were parked inside safety lines and that the drivers were not aware that anti-collision lights needed to be switched on during low visibility.

 

Comments by ASMSI

 

DGCA should be complimented for conducting a surprise check at Delhi airport and discovering number of lapses. It is unfortunate that Operators, Ground Handlers, Caterers etc. tend to take short cuts and there appears to be lack of Safety Culture. This is definitely an area of serious concern and needs the attention and involvement of all the stakeholders particularly the enforcement agency, DGCA. Ground accidents/Incidents are inexcusable and definitely avoidable.  Surprise checks should be conducted at random frequency and the Accountable Executives and Senior Management should be taken to task for the lapses. Good reporting system, Close Monitoring, involvement of the Senior Management of the Operators and close watch by the Regulator on continuous basis,can certainly go a long way in enhancing safety of ground operations.

 

 

09 Nov 19-Engine fire suspected, Air India flight makes emergency landing.

 

New Delhi: An Air India flight (AI 670) winging its way from Bhubaneswar to Mumbai on Friday evening with over 180 people on board was diverted to Raipur following engine trouble.
According to sources, a passenger reported seeing suspected fire on an engine of the Airbus A321. He informed the crew and then the pilot made a safe emergency landing at Raipur.
Passengers were safely evacuated using slides on the runway once the Airbus A321 stopped. The single-runway Raipur airport is closed and is expected to resume operations around 8.30 pm. The DGCA and AI are probing this incident.
According to preliminary information given to DGCA by AI, said an official, “Fire was reported by passenger to the cabin crew. The latter immediately informed the captain. The pilots carried out some checks and shut down engine number 1. They carried out a safe single engine landing in Raipur where passengers were evacuated using slides on the runway. The aircraft was towed from the runway.”
AI spokesman Dhananjay Kumar said: “The flight made an emergency landing in Raipur due to tail (possibly meaning tailpipe fire, which occurs within the normal gas flow path of the engine) fire. There was only tail fire and no fire warning in the cockpit. However when cabin crew reported fire on the engine, captain discharged the fire extinguisher bottle. Tail fire could be due engine blades damage and incomplete combustion in the engine.”

 

 Tail fire-hit’ Air India plane to undergo engine change amid AAIB probe

Mumbai: The Air India A321 plane, which was diverted to Raipur mid-air due to ‘tail fire’ incident last week, will require engine replacement even as aircraft accident investigation body AAIB has taken over the probe into the incident, a source said on Tuesday.

The source also said that an Airbus A319 plane is expected to be flown to Raipur on Friday, and one of its engines will be removed and fitted into the grounded plane.
Last Friday, a city-bound Air India flight from Bhubaneswar, carrying 189 persons on board, had to make an emergency landing at Chhattisgarhs Raipur airport due to tail fire in one of the engines of the aircraft.

“The Air India Airbus A321, VT-PPT, remains grounded at the Raipur airport since November 9. One of the engines of the plane has suffered damages and will have to be changed. Till then it will remain out of operations,” said the source close to the development.

An A319 aircraft will be routed to Raipur on Friday for an engine change, adding, “We will remove one of the engines of this aircraft and install it on the grounded aircraft (VT-PPT) and make it fit for operations.”

Air India spokesperson was not available for comments. He also said that the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) has taken over the probe into the incident.

The aircraft has been inspected both by a team of AAIB and Air India flight safety department along with airline’s engineering wing, the source said.

Besides, a senior official from the airworthiness wing of the directorate general of civil aviation’s Bhopal office has also inspected the aircraft, he added.

 

 

Comments by ASMSI.

 

Air India is again in the news because of this serious occurrence of Engine Fire which resulted in operation of fire extinguishers by the Pilots, switching off of the Engine, diversion to Raipur and emergency landing. The Pilots must be complimented for skillful handling of Emergency and Cabin Crew and Passenger who first reported engine fire also needs to be appreciated for prompt action to inform the Pilots. A 321 of Air India are quite old and obviously must be heavy on maintenance. Air India is passing through financial stress which has potential for compromise on safety. The need for alertness on part of Senior Management, Pilots, Engineers and Regulator under this phase of disinvestment of the airline is essential for the safety of operations and reputation of the Air India. It is essential to go in the root cause of the Fire and hopefully Investigators from AAIB will do a thorough job and make safety recommendations.

 

12 Nov 19-Rat found on board Hyderabad-Vizag Air India flight delays take-off.

An Air India flight from Hyderabad to Visakhapatnam was delayed for nearly 12 hours on Sunday, after a rat was reportedly found on board the plane, at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA).

According to media reports, the flight, which was scheduled to depart at 6 am, only left at around 5.30 pm, after the rat was noticed by a cabin crew member.

The engineering department was notified and Air India authorities immediately stepped in to fumigate the entire plane and also conduct a thorough search, for any possible damage to the plane, caused by the rat.
Following this, it was granted clearance to fly again. After landing in Visakhapatnam, the plane was scheduled to fly to Delhi.

The extreme delay left passengers in Hyderabad and Visakhapatnam angry, and some even took to social media, to vent out their frustration.

 

 

Comments by ASMSI.

 

Unfortunately Air India is again in news. How the rat has got into the aircraft and where, is not known. Thankfully, the rat was detected and action was taken as per SOP by the Engineering Department of Air India. It is not known whether the rat was finally caught and removed from the airline. Rats are a major menace and can be dangerous since they have a habit of cutting wires which if not discovered in time can lead to short circuits, sparks and may be fire and or some other serious damage to cabling of  avionics, communication systems etc. All airlines must be concerned, involved and should take proactive steps to keep the rat menace away from the Operations and Maintenance area. Audits by the Operators, Regulators may like to pay attention to the potential areas which may pose rat hazards.

 

12 Nov 19.Grounded in Dubai: Mumbai-bound flight returns after take-off

An Air India Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft operating from Dubai to Mumbai returned to Dubai airport after an hour due to technical reasons and was grounded on Tuesday.

“There is a minor technical issue and it will only take one to two hours to rectify the issue. But since safety is our first priority, the flight has returned to Dubai. Necessary material and technical team has already been sent to Dubai and the flight will take off at approximate 10 pm (local time),” Air India spokesperson Dhananjay Kumar told ANI.

A total of 244 passengers were on board the flight and were deplaned safely at Dubai airport as per standard operating procedure (SOP). Air India has provided accommodation and food to all the passengers.

Kumar said that the flight will take some time to be in operation because a team, along with required material will fly from India to Dubai, and will only start work after clearance from customs and security at the airport there.

 

Comments by ASMSI.

Air India somehow manages to be in the news for safety related reasons. The Pilot must be commended for taking proper decision in returning to Dubai and not succumbing to the temptation of continuing Flight to Mumbai. Dreamliner, though state of the art modern sophisticated aircraft, still continues to give problems at random intervals albeit, on a much reduced scale. The Pilots and Maintenance staff should continue to be involved and fully alert to prevent any mishap.

14 Nov 19-Now, breath test must for all Cochin airport staff

Kochi: In a bid to strengthen the safety of airside operations, the Cochin International Airport Ltd (CIAL) has introduced mandatory Breath Analyzing (BA) test for all its staff and outsourced staff serving in the critical airside operations. More than five breath analyzers have been bought for this and stationed at different points at the airport.
The decision which came in effect from October 30 makes BA test compulsory for all organizations and persons engaged in air traffic control services, airport management, aircraft maintenance and repair, ground handling agency, aircraft operation, fuelling and catering, equipment operation, fire and rescue, aerobridge operations, marshalling, apron control and ground handling.
The decision is in the wake of a DGCA directive to expand the scope of BA test beyond pilots and cabin crew to other personnel providing critical aviation services at airport after numerous persons were caught tipsy during duty hours. Over the past one-and-a-half month, two non-crew members at CIAL itself were reportedly found tipsy during work hours. These include a ramp service agent of Air India Air Transport Services Ltd (AIATSL), a cargo loader of Global Airport and Ground Services.
According to CIAL officials, the management ensures that at least 10% individuals employed in their respective organizations are randomly subjected to BA examination on daily basis. As per the DGCA directive, all employees should have an equal chance of being tested each time the selections are made. Hence, we will be using a scientifically valid method such as a random-number table or a computer-based random-number generator to select the applicable employees for testing.

 

 

Comments by ASMSI

 Commendable initiative by DGCA and its implementation by the Management of the CIAL is worthy of appreciation. We are sure that other airport operators will follow suit and implement the directive from DGCA in letter and spirit. Proactive approach of DGCA in identifying hazards and suggesting measures to eliminate or mitigate hazards was long overdue and it is heartening to note that DGCA is fully involved under the guidance and leadership of the present DG.

 


14 Nov 19-Go Air Plane Strays, Takes Off From Grass In Bengaluru; Pilot Suspended

Bengaluru: The country’s aviation watchdog, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), has ordered an inquiry after an Airbus A320 commercial jet flown by GoAir was forced to execute an unorthodox and dangerous take-off from Bengaluru International Airport in poor weather conditions.
The A320 jet had taken off from Nagpur on Monday with a reported 180 people on board and was scheduled to land in Bengaluru later the same day. However, on landing the plane began veering off the runway and onto the grass-covered strip of land on one side of the runway.
At this point the pilot increased engine speed and was, fortunately, able to take off. The plane then proceeded to Hyderabad, its diversionary airport, where it landed safely.
All passengers were safe and the crew of the plane has been grounded. In addition, the pilot of the plane, who is an expat, has now been suspended.
“On Monday 11th November 2019, Go Air flight G8 811 from Nagpur to Bengaluru had carried out go around at Bengaluru and diverted to Hyderabad. All the passengers, crew and aircraft landed safely at Hyderabad,” Go Air said in a statement.
“This reportable incident was reported immediately to the DGCA – the industry regulator. Pending the investigation by Go Air and the regulator, the flight crew have been kept off flying duty,” it added.


14 Nov 19-Go Air A20N at Bangalore on Nov 11th 2019, runway excursion on landing

A Go Air Airbus A320-200N, registration VT-WGR performing flight G8-811 from Nagpur to Bangalore (India) with 180 people on board, landed on Bangalore’s runway 09 at 07:22L (01:52Z) in fog and low visibility however touched down at the left edge of the runway with the left main gear on soft ground. The crew initiated a balked landing, went around and climbed to safety. After entering a hold at 8000 feet for about 30 minutes the crew decided to divert to Hyderabad (India), climbed the aircraft to FL280 and landed safely in Hyderabad about 90 minutes after the balked landing. After landing in Hyderabad the left main gear was found covered with mud.
India’s DGCA rated the occurrence a serious incident and opened an investigation.
A number of (but not all) media in India claim an unnamed source associated with the DGCA reported the left hand engine (PW1127G) stalled during the go around. On social media one journalist even claims to quote a statement by DGCA (editorial note: showing a blank sheet of paper with text, but no letter head, signature or other indication of any official document, no such document is available on any of the DGCA outlets, call sign of the aircraft was GOW811, no D attached to the flight number, India’s New Agency ANI does not mention any engine issue while confirming the runway excursion), that reads:
On 11.11.2019 Go Air A320 aircraft VT-WGR operated flight G8-811D(Nagpur-Bangalore). It was cleared for approach for R/W 09 at Bangalore. Due to bad weather at Bangalore aircraft initiated Go around. During the Go Around process No.1 engine stalled. The power on the effected engine was reduced to idle and Go around was continued. During climb No.1 Engine again stalled and power was again reduced to idle . The aircraft diverted Hyderabad with power on No.1 engine in climb detent.
After landing at Hyderabad mud deposit have been observed on left main landing gear, indicating that aircraft has rolled on to soft ground/ unpaved surface.
As per the crew aircraft has deviated to left during go around at Bangalore. Aircraft has been grounded for detailed investigation at Hyderabad.
DFDR data along with other recorder data is being analysed for further investigation.

 

14 Nov 19-Go Air aircraft veers off runway in Bengaluru during landing, takes off again from grass patch.

Mumbai: In a major incident, a GoAir aircraft with 180 passengers onboard touched down on Bengaluru airport runway in low visibility, only to veer off into a grass patch off the runway and then took off again following the runway excursion. The eventful landing was carried out by an ex-pat pilot in command of Go Air Nagpur-Bengaluru flight G8-811 on November 11.
According to DGCA sources, the A320 aircraft was cleared to land on runway 09 of Bengaluru airport. “Due to bad weather at the airport, the aircraft initiated a go-around. During the go-around, the left engine stalled,” said the source.
Aviation sources said that the aircraft veered off the runway into a grass patch off the runway even as it continued to its go-around run. It lifted off from the grass patch and thereafter held over Bengaluru waiting for visibility to improve, only to finally divert to Hyderabad. DGCA sources confirmed that the crew stated that the aircraft had deviated to left during go around at Bengaluru.
After landing at Hyderabad, mud deposit was observed on left main landing gear, indicating that aircraft has rolled on to soft ground/ unpaved surface, said a DGCA official.
Director- General of civil aviation Arun Kumar said that the crew has been grounded. “Aircraft has been grounded in Hyderabad for detailed investigation. Digital flight data recorder data along with other recorder data is being analysed for further investigation,” Kumar said.

 

 

Comments by ASMSI

We must thank God for saving a catastrophic accident which would have brought grief and shame to all the stakeholders and the country. First of all if the visibility was so bad, why was the aircraft allowed to land. There must be aerodrome and airline weather limitations for Bangalore Runway which needs to be complied with. Why the pilot did take off fully knowing that he has gone out of the runway and is on the unpaved part of runway shoulders. It was most dangerous act on the part of the Pilot. A very poor decision by the pilot first to continue approach with very  bad visibility which must be below his Minima and then going round on the unpaved surface of the runway. The stalling of the engine during go around also must have been due to mishandling of the engine power and aircraft by the Pilot who was in panic to leave the ground at the earliest. Did the First Officer cautioned the Pilot not to continue the approach in poor visibility conditions and not to go around after the aircraft has strayed into unpaved surface of the runway. What was ATC doing when the Pilot was making approach in such poor visibility conditions? Did they caution the pilot or told him to divert since the visibility was bad. Are there no senior management personnel of the Operator who can keep a track of very poor weather conditions and advise Pilot and ATC to avoid making approach in such adverse weather conditions? It is hoped that inquiry team will go in all the aspects of this very serious incident including stalling of the Engine and whether the crew had reported to ATC about the stalling of the engine. In depth accident/incident investigations, thorough analysis, involvement of the Senior Management of the Airline, ATC, CRM training of the Crew with emphasis on decision making and improved safety Culture are paramount to prevent future occurrence of Accidents/Incidents.

 

15 Nov 19-Hero air traffic controller from Pakistan saves India to Oman flight from major disaster

An air traffic controller from the Civil Aviation Authority in Pakistan on Thursday saved a plane flying from the Indian city of Jaipur to Muscat by guiding it through air traffic during an emergency.

According to reports, the air plane, carrying 150 passengers, was flying over the Karachi region when it was caught in the middle of a weather pattern with lots of lightning that could have resulted in a catastrophe.

Following the lightning strikes, the plane dropped down from an altitude of 36,000 feet to 34,000 feet almost immediately. As a result, the pilot initiated emergency protocol and broadcast ‘Mayday’ to nearby stations.

The air traffic controller from Pakistan responded to the call of the captain of the plane and directed it through the dense air traffic in the vicinity for the remainder of the journey in Pakistani airspace.

Sources in the aviation authority said that the aircraft had encountered abnormal weather conditions near the Chor area of the southern province of Sindh.

 

Comments by ASMSI

 

Grateful to the Pakistani Air Traffic Controller for going in a way beyond the call of his duty, knowing fully well the strained relations between India and Pakistan. If it was some extremist element, maybe he would have glossed over the May Day Call by the Captain. Such fine gestures need to be appreciated. Involvement of the Air Traffic Controller to prevent a possible calamity deserves praise.

Weather is one element which can change drastically over distance and time and Pilots must be continuously monitoring the weather. Typical weather conditions obtained in particular areas and particular season must be known to the Pilots and they should be Situationally Aware at all times. Timely decision by the Pilot to transmit May Day saved the situation. Pilots must not hesitate to ask for assistance if required without any hesitation, ego, pride and delay.

 

16 Nov 19-Navy’s MiG-29K jet crashes near Goa village, pilots eject to safety

Panjim: An Indian Navy MiG-29K trainer aircraft crashed near a village in Goa soon after it took off for a training mission from INS Hansa on Saturday. The incident took place in Dabolim. Both the pilots have managed to eject safely. The aircraft involved in the crash was a trainer version of the fighter jet.
A major tragedy was thus, averted as the pilot manoeuvred the aircraft away from populated areas.
PTI reported that the aircraft was on a regular training sortie when the incident occurred. A villager informed the news agency that the aircraft crashed on a rocky plateau on the outskirts of Verna, 15 kms from the state capital, around noon.
The Ministry of Defence Spokesperson said the trainer aircraft suffered an engine fire. “During a training mission, after take-off from INS HANSA at Dabolim a Mig 29k trainer aircraft suffered an engine fire. The pilots Capt M Sheokhand and Lt Cdr Deepak Yadav ejected safely,” he added.

 

 

16 Nov 19-Bird strike causes Indian fighter jet to crash during training

 

A MiG-29K fighter aircraft crashed in South Goa’s Dabolim on Saturday soon after it took off for a training mission, Indian Navy said.
Both the pilots have managed to eject safely. The aircraft involved in the crash was a trainer version of the fighter jet, the Indian Navy added. Navy Spokesperson Commander Vivek Madhwal tweeted, “The MiG-29K trainer aircraft suffered an engine fire. The pilots Captain M Sheokhand and Lt Commander Deepak Yadav ejected safely.”
Sharing further details, Goa Airport sources said that the Navy aircraft crashed in South Goa at around 12 noon, shortly after the aircraft took off from the Dabolim International Airport. MiG-29K trainer aircraft was flying from ashore in Goa. During recovery, there was a bird hit and fire on the right engine was observed. The aircraft crashed in an open and safe area. No casualties reported, according to Indian Navy.

 

MiG crash puts birds, bldgs under scanner

Panaji: The unfortunate crash of a MiG 29KUB fighter aircraft on Saturday has once again shone the uncomfortable spotlight on safety norms for airports, particularly garbage disposal around Goa International Airport and construction along the approach path of aircraft.
Experts and official sources point out that if a commercial airliner suffered a similar bird strike with both engines flaming out, the damage to life and property could be significantly greater.

“While a Navy pilot can eject, in a commercial airliner what do you do? The only option is to recover the aircraft. During the glide approach if the aircraft loses lift or deviates by just a few degrees, it will bang into a building,” a pilot with a commercial airline said.

In an incident that came to be known as the Miracle on the Hudson, an Airbus A320 struck a flock of geese while flying out of New York’s LaGuardia Airport in 2009. Using quick thinking, the pilot decided to ditch the passenger aircraft into the river Hudson saving all lives aboard.

The Navy fighter jet, which crashed into a barren patch of rocky land just behind Verna Industrial Estate, also struck a flock of birds and lost both engines.

“If this happens to a passenger aircraft, the plane could crash in Vasco or into a nearby building. We are living with a potential disaster here,” former chief of naval staff Admiral (retired) Arun Prakash said.

Airports Authority of India and the Indian Navy have repeatedly warned of the threat posed by birds which come to forage on the garbage.

 

 

Comments by ASMSI

It is fortunate that the Pilots ejected safely and the aircraft was steered away from the populated areas by the alert Pilots thus preventing large casualties. Bird are a serious hazard at most of the airports and Dabolim has had its share of serious bird strikes. Bird hits cannot be taken lightly particularly on high speed fighter aircraft. In this particular case, the bird hit aggravated the situation by causing engine fire which left no option for the Pilot but to eject. Pilots deserve a word of praise for taking appropriate decision in time. Concerted efforts by the Airport Operator in coordination and cooperation of State Administration must continue to fight this serious safety hazard and Pilots must always be alert, vigilant, situationally aware about the hazards and ATC must caution the Pilots on approach and take off, about the birds.

 

16 Nov 19-Runway incursion at Chennai airport: DGCA suspends 2 IndiGo pilots for 3 months

 

 New Delhi: Aviation regulator DGCA has suspended two pilots of IndiGo airline for not heeding the instructions of Air Traffic Controller which caused a runway incursion incident at Chennai airport on July 14, an official said on Saturday.
“Capt. Elitom Tadeu Soos, pilot-in-command, and Capt. Aniket Sunil Joshi, first officer – who were planning to take off their A320 plane for Ahmedabad airport – did not adhere to the instructions by SMC (Surface Movement Control) Controller to hold at holding point ”A” at RWY30 at Chennai airport,” the official said.

“They did not pay heed to the holding instructions and moved toward RWY25, which resulted in runway incursion incident. This jeopardised the safety of the aircraft and the passengers,” the official added.

Moreover, after SMC Controller changed the frequency to “Tower Frequency”, the pilots failed to contact at this frequency, the official said.

 

Comments by ASMSI

 

Runway incursion are avoidable in most of the cases if the ATC as well as Pilots are alert, Situationally aware and Pilots listen to ATC instructions attentively. If there is a doubt about the ATC instructions, Pilots should never hesitate to clarify. The First Officer flying with the Foreign Pilots should be much more alert and listen ATC instructions carefully since most of the Foreign Pilots face language problem which leads to communication gap. This is a serious hazard and Airlines must pay special attention to this aspect during CRM Training. Communication is a serious problem particularly with Foreign Pilots and Airlines and Operators must emphasis this issue during the CRM Training.


17
 Nov 19-‘Remove illegal shrimp farms near the airport’

Surat: Navsari BJP MP, CR Patil on Saturday demanded immediate removal of the illegal shrimp farms on government land surrounding the Surat airport. Attending the co-ordination meeting held at the district collector’s office, the MP took up the issue stating the risk these farms pose to the safe operations of flights to and from the airport.
The coastal areas of Dumas and Abhava villages near the mouth of the Tapi river are home to hundreds of shrimp farmers. During floods and high tide, water backs up and affects the low-lying areas near Dumas. “This attracts the birds who flock to feed on the shrimps posing great threat to the flights,” he said, talking to TOI.
In 2013, the airport authority had hire a professional agency for taking up the job of bird scaring for the smooth operations of the flights. While there has been only one reported incident of bird-hit in the airport, authorities are extra cautious for passenger safety.
Sources said that minor incidents of bird-hits go unreported as the airline pilots do not report about it to the AAI as the procedure may delay the flights by more than one or two hours. On an average, two to three minor bird hit incidents are reported in a month.
17/11/19 Times of India.

 

Comments by ASMSI

 

Birds are a major safety Hazard and all possible steps should be taken to address this hazard with the emphasis it deserves. It is heartening to note the involvement of the area MP and the District Collector to take measures to remove the shrimp farm which attracts birds. Similar steps in proactive identification of hazards and addressing them on priority are required at other airports also. Cooperation, support and Involvement of the Civil Administration along with airport authorities can produce desired results in tackling bird menace.


18 Nov 19-Spicejet flight to Delhi aborted during takeoff, passengers stranded

Ahmedabad: A Spice jet flight from Ahmedabad to Delhi had to return from the bay during takeoff. The Spice jet flight had to return due to technical faults and takeoff had to be aborted.
The 6:05 am flight from Ahmedabad was aborted abruptly, leaving the passengers stranded. Some of the passengers have been waiting since 2:30 am on Monday morning.
18/11/19 India Today

 

Comments by ASMSI

 

Timely decision by the Pilot to abandon Take Off. What was the snag and how and why it occurred should be investigated. Proper Investigation of incidents is essential to learn lessons and avoid future accidents/incidents and must be given due attention.

 

20 Nov 19-IndiGo flight from Coimbatore makes emergency landing in Chennai after smoke alarm goes off

 

Chennai: An IndiGo flight made an emergency landing at the Chennai airport Wednesday after a smoke alarm went off on board the plane. The IndiGo flight was flying from Coimbatore and made its emergency landing after a smoke alarm went off in the cargo hold of the aircraft.

News agency PTI, quoting unnamed authorities, reported that all passengers and crew were safe.

The IndiGo flight, a Coimbatore-Chennai service, was carrying 168 passengers. The pilot of the flight requested priority landing after detecting a smoke alarm in the cargo area of the plane.

 

21 Nov 19-False smoke alarm forces emergency landing of plane

Chennai: A Coimbatore-Chennai Indigo Airlines flight with around 160 people made an emergency landing on Wednesday morning after a smoke alarm went off in the cargo hold as it was nearing the city. The A320 landed safely at the scheduled 10.40am and the alarm was found to be false.

The second incident in the last 20 days involving an Indigo flight at Chennai has raised concerns of safety. In both incidents, a false smoke alarm forced a emergency to meet which the airport mobilised equipment and personnel.

IndiGo flight 6E-892 had “a momentary smoke caution for the aft cargo compartment. Post arrival in Chennai, the smoke caution was noted to be spurious. Aircraft (VT-IKI) is currently in Chennai to rectify the cause of the spurious caution,” said a statement from the airline which didn’t respond to the question on steps being taken to prevent repeat of such incidents.

An airport official said “a full emergency was declared soon after the pilot informed about the smoke alarm, and crash tenders were on standby by the side of runway when the plane touched down. They followed the plane till it reached the parking bay.” The airline was attending to the false alarm.

There was a mild delay in the landing of the next two IndiGo flights from Hyderabad and Mangalore scheduled for 11.15am and 11.20am.

 

Comments by ASMSI

Two Spurious fire alarm incidents over a period of 20 Days on Indigo A 320 aircraft are a matter of concern. Hopefully, the Airline will investigate the matter properly and establish the root cause so that further recurrence of such incidents can be prevented. Such incidents where the aircraft is forced to return midway do cause anxiety among passengers and are not in the interest of the reputation of the airline. Our Pilots are quite professional and take the SOP action when any incident occurs. However, sometime, individual Pilot may become complacent and overlook the warning assuming that it is spurious which may not be the case. Hence, all pilots must keep this aspect in mind and avoid any kind of complacency.

 

Spice jet tyre burst while landing at Tirupati

 

Tirupati: A major mishap averted for the passengers of Spice jet at Tirupati airport. The plane, which reached Tirupati from Mumbai via Hyderabad, while landing on the runway, the flight tyre got burst. The pilot who noticed the tyre explosion has controlled the flight and saved the lives of the passengers. The Spice jet flight was immediately repaired at Renigunta airport. The worried passengers breathed easy after the safe landing. This Spice jet flight was supposed to arrive at 5:10 pm in Tirupati but got delayed due to technical problems while taking off in Mumbai. With this delay, nearly 170 passengers were remained to wait till 10 pm in Tirupati.

 

Comments by ASMSI

Pilot should be complemented for handling the tyre burst emergency during landing in a calm and professional manner. It is essential that the cause of tyre burst on landing is investigated to avoid recurrence in the future.

 

25 Nov 19Use of drones within 5-km radius of airport banned

Alarmed over the misuse of drones following smuggling of arms and ammunition with the help of drones by anti-national elements in Pakistan recently, the local police have banned use of drones within a 5-km radius of Sri Guru Ram Dass Jee International Airport here.

While using his magisterial powers, Deputy Commissioner of Police (law and order) Jagmohan Singh said there were a number of hotels and marriage palaces near the airport where people used drones for aerial photo and videography. He said as the airport was a sensitive place where a number of national and international flights arrived and departed, the anti-national elements could take advantage and carried out their nefarious activities and create law and order problems.

He said even aerial vehicles were being used at resorts, hotels and marriage palaces in the vicinity of the city. He ordered a complete ban on use of drones under Section 144 of the CrPC. He said if anyone was found using drones and violating the orders, appropriate action would be taken against him.

Comments by ASMSI

It is very difficult to detect and shoot down drones in such a vast and complicated LOC and International border area along Pakistan. The use of drones by Pakistani supported terrorists, for smuggling arms, ammunition and narcotics and even attacking sensitive installations, like airports,is a very serious threat. Banning the operation of drones within 5 Km of airport and other areas, is a timely action by the administration in Amritsar. However, what plans have been made or action is being taken by the administration, security and intelligence agencies to ward of the threat from across the border is not known. Security, Intelligence agencies and local administration have to put their heads together to address this serious threat which is very challenging.

27 Nov 19-CAG flags loopholes in airport security

Chandigarh: Even as airports in most parts of the country are facing a high level of threat perception, the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has flagged several loopholes in the aviation security establishment.

The situation at two hyper-sensitive airports, two sensitive airports and one airport where only chartered flights and helicopters were operating, all under the jurisdiction of the Airports Authority of India (AAI), was scrutinised by the CAG. The report, tabled this week, did not identify the airports.

“The AAI has been slow in procuring and installing security equipment and technology as mandated by the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) for enhancing the efficiency of security personnel in responding to security breaches and also provide a high level of protection to persons and property at the airport,” the CAG observed.
“Delays were noticed in assessment and procurement of major security equipment required for security check. Despite lapse of considerable time, some of the security equipment and technology is yet to be procured or installed at selected airports,” the report said.

 

 

Comments by ASMSI

Security requirements even at the best time of Security situation cannot be ignored. The audit by CAG has pointed out glaring lapses which should be addressed on highest priority. The Senior Management off the aerodrome and Officials from the AAI must carry out Security audit regularly and take action on priority to eliminate security hazards. With the worsening security situation in the country and threat of Pakistan mischief hanging over the country at all times, we can ill afford, lack of concern about safety.

 

27 Nov 19-Go Air flight faces technical glitch, manages to land safely in Mumbai

A full emergency was declared on Tuesday evening for a GoAir flight from Mumbai to Lucknow due to a technical failure.
The incident took place at 7:57 pm. Go Air flight G8-2610 returned and landed safely and the emergency was withdrawn later.
In a statement, Go Air spokesperson stated that the flight from Mumbai to Lucknow did a “precautionary” air turn back shortly after takeoff owing to a technical glitch with one of its CFM engines. After turn back, the flight landed safely with 178 passengers and 4 crew onboard the Airbus A320 CEO aircraft at Mumbai.

“The aircraft will be put back into service following an inspection and rectification by the Go Air engineering team. At Go Air, the safety of our passengers and crew is of paramount importance and the airline sincerely regrets any inconvenience caused to its passengers,” the spokesperson stated.

 

 

Comments by ASMSI

 

Technical malfunctions and returning of flights after Takeoff is occurring frequently particularly on Indigo and Go Air aircraft mainly due to problems associated with the New Engine Options. This problem is likely to result in shaking the faith of the travelling public. It is understood that both the airline and DGCA are seized of the problem and are taking suitable measures to avoid any serious mishap. Pilots have to be always prepared for the worst till all the trouble prone engines are replaced.

 

27 Nov 19-Woman pilot seeks PM’s intervention; Says DGCA targeted her while her senior was allowed to go scot-free

The co-pilot and first officer on Air India flight AI 669, which was involved in a runway incursion at Mumbai airport on September 16, has complained to the Prime Minister against the Directorate General of Civil Aviation for serving her a show-cause notice, while allowing the pilot-in-command (PIC) to go scot-free.
Accusing the aviation regulator of not following the principles of natural justice, the pilot expressed shock at its decision to not only allow the more experienced pilot to fly but also exercise his privileges as an examiner without waiting for her explanation. On September 16, Air India’s AI 669 was scheduled to fly Mumbai Bhubaneswar sector when the A320 aircraft went on the wrong taxiway on way to the main runway for takeoff. The PIC and the first officer were de-rostered, pending investigation by the DGCA.
On November 15, DGCA deputy director of air safety served a notice only to the co-pilot and first officer to explain why further action should not be taken against her. The notice said the investigation had revealed that she was not conversant with the topography of the aerodrome and did not take the correct turn at the junction where three taxiway M, taxiway N1, and taxiway E meet.
The notice also said she did not follow the aircraft’s progress on the aerodrome chart to ensure that the PIC taxiing the aircraft follows the instructions given from the air traffic control (ATC). The notice also states that the first officer was involved in “head down activities” during the critical phase of taxiing, and hence did not ensure that the PIC followed the ATC instructions.
The woman pilot was asked to submit a written reply within 15 days.
The PIC involved in the incident is an examiner at Air India and also the deputy general manager at the central training establishment of Air India. While two enquiries into the incident were held on September 26 and September 30 at the Mumbai office of DGCA, the PIC was reportedly cleared to fly while the woman pilot was served the show-cause notice.
“The captain has been flying as an airline pilot for more than 30 years, and is more familiar with the layout of Mumbai airport than me who has less than 2 years of flying experience. Yet the entire blame has been laid on me,” she said seeking intervention from the PMO.
27/11/19 Satish Nandgaonkar/Mumbai Mirror

 

Comments by ASMSI

It is surprising to learn that after inquiry, DGCA has only served show cause notice to the First Officer for going on the wrong Taxi Track and the Captain who is highly experienced, knowledgeable, Examiner and DGM at CTE, Hyderabad has been allowed to go scot free. The Captain has the overall responsibility for the safe operation of the aircraft and punishing only the Co Pilot for the incident does not appear to be justified. Either both Pilots should have been issued Show Cause Notice or none of them. We do not have the full details of the incident but on the face of it, it appears that Captain was allowed leniency may be because he is an examiner and DGM at CTE. The Lady Pilot going to media and writing to Prime Minister seems to be an overreaction and not justified.

Number of Runway incursions, excursions and entering wrong taxi track point to the lack of knowledge about the airfield lay out and communication related problems like lack of attention, distraction and complacency. Particularly during poor visibility conditions, rain, fog etc., both the Pilots should be fully involved, extra alert, knowledgeable about the airfield lay out and pay special attention to ATC instructions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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