Proactive Safety Initiative- Precautions Monsoon Flying-Aviation Safety India
Greetings from Aviation Safety Management Society of India (ASMSI).
ASMSI is concerned about the safety of Aviation Operations in the country and is taking proactive steps to compliment the efforts and initiatives of DGCA to maintain high standards of safe flying environments.
Monsoon/Rainy season, which is around the corner, is known to pose number of hazards to flying and has caused many weather related accidents/incidents around the world.
Last year there were couple of avoidable runway excursions and overruns causing serious damage to aircraft? It was fortunate that many safety situations occurring due weather were controlled in time to prevent any mishap.
ASMSI has prepared a list of Precautions to be taken during Monsoon Flying (attached)which are aimed to create awareness about the hazards associated with Monsoon Season and steps to be taken to prevent any occurrences due to adverse weather conditions, among various stakeholders.
It is an acknowledged fact that Safety concerns all the stakeholders and every one right from top to bottom has an important role to play. Hence, it is essential that CEO’s, Accountable Executives/Managers, Head Operations,Safety,Training,Maintenance,Safety Managers, Marketing Executives,Dispatch,Ops and Maintenance and other supporting staff, are fully involved to ensure safety and efficiency of the operations.
Senior Management has a significant role to play in promoting Safety Culture in their respective organisations and they should be at the forefront to provide Safety assurance through sincere and serious implementations of Safety Management System in their organisation, keeping in mind the Monsoon related hazards.
Emphasis should be laid on knowledge, skill levels, competency, recency, proficiency checks, hands on flying, instrument and Simulator Flying,
Flight following and close monitoring of the progress of the flights and weather developments should be ensured by the concerned officials. ATC, Met Department and Company Dispatch should be proactive, alert, vigilant, situationally aware and provide timely assistance, accurate and timely weather information and runway condition.
Last year some runways were blocked and operations were suspended due to the aircraft overruns/excursions and lack of Disabled Aircraft Recovery Equipment (DARE). DGCA had acted swiftly and given instructions for priority procurement of the DARE by number of airports and hopefully these must have been made operational. Hope and pray that there will be no requirement to use the DARE but procurement is essential to cater for contingencies. DGCA must be complimented for being firm on procurement of the essential Disabled Aircraft Recovery Equipment.
Let us all join hands to make sure that there are no flight safety related occurrences during this Monsoon Season.
Knowledge, Awareness, Professional Planning, Preparations, Adherence to SOP’s, Rules, Regulations, Supervision, Monitoring and full Involvement of Senior Management are Key to Safety of Operations.
Please share among your friends and colleagues. I shall be grateful for your efforts.
With warm Regards
Air Cmde BS Siwach AVSM YSM VM (Veteran)
Director General (9871251590)
Aviation Safety Management Society of India
PRECAUTIONS- FLYING DURING MONSOON SEASON
During the past years, DGCA has taken many proactive steps and has published number of CAR’s and Circulars which are source of knowledge and guide the Pilots and Operators to take various steps to ensure safety of aviation operations during adverse weather operations. All the Pilots and Operators should go through the following DGCA CAR’s and Circulars, make a summary of important points, disseminate and prepare themselves for safe and efficient conduct of aviation operations during adverse weather phases:-
CIVIL AVIATION REQUIREMENT SECTION 8 – AIRCRAFT OPERATIONS SERIES ‘C’ PART I Issue I, Dated 13th June 2011 Effective (Rev 10): 01st April 2017. All Weather Operations (AWO).
CIVIL AVIATION REQUIREMENTS SECTION 8 – OPERATIONS SERIES ‘O’, PART V ISSUE II, 28TH MARCH 2017 EFFECTIVE: FORTHWITH, Subject: OPERATION OF GENERAL AVIATION HELICOPTERS.
OC NO 3 OF 2017 Date: 17th January 2017 OPERATIONS CIRCULAR, Subject: Unstable Approaches
OC NO 9 OF 2017 Date: 18th August 2017 OPERATIONS CIRCULAR, Subject: Approach and Landing Accident Reduction (ALAR) and Control Flight into Terrain (CFIT) reduction tool kit.
OPERATIONS CIRCULAR 1 OF 2013 Subject: Missed Approach/Go Around, 08 February 2013.
OPERATIONS CIRCULAR 02 OF 2010, December 17, 2011 Revision 1, dated December 17, 2011 Subject: PILOT’S SPATIAL DISORIENTATION.
OC NO 2 OF 2014 Date: 1st May 2014 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA, CIVIL AVIATION DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR GENERAL OF CIVIL AVIATION OPERATIONS CIRCULAR Subject: Continuous Descent Final Approach (CDFA).
OC NO 3 OF 2015 Date: 4th August 2015 OPERATIONS CIRCULAR, Subject: Crosswind and Tailwind Operational Limits.
OC NO 3 OF 2014 Date: 25TH JUNE 2014 GOVERNMENT OF INDIA CIVIL AVIATION DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR GENERAL OF CIVIL AVIATION OPERATIONS CIRCULAR Subject: All-Weather Operations Training Programme
AIR SAFETY CIRCULAR 09/2013 Subject: Precautionary landings of helicopters due bad weather. Dated 13th December, 2013.
AIR SAFETY CIRCULAR 03 OF 2017, Dated: 10th Oct, 2017 Subject: Adverse Weather Operations.
OC NO 2 OF 2017 Date: 17th January 2017 OPERATIONS CIRCULAR, Subject: Guidance for Operators on Training Programme on the use of Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS).
- Adverse Weather is one of the Worst Enemy of the Pilots. Flying during Monsoon Season pose number of hazards and challenges to the Pilots.
- Flying during monsoons particularly in Northeastern states, Western Ghats, Coastal areas and hilly areas demands special attention and alertness on part of the aircrew.
- Early mornings, afternoons are more likely to have thunderstorms. Keep this aspect in mind.
- Normally adverse phase of thunderstorms lasts around 30 Mts to 1 Hour but in the case of regenerating thunderstorms it may continue for hours.
- Flying in the hills is most dangerous during monsoons and great care must be exercised.
- Offshore flying is very challenging during monsoons. Exercise special caution and take no chances with weather particularly during monsoons which are quite severe in the areas of offshore operations.
- Need to Brush up your knowledge about Spatial Disorientation, loss of Situational Awareness, prevention of CFIT and Approach, Landing Accident Reduction tool Kit, cannot be overemphasized.
- Be knowledgeable about use of Weather Radar and onboard Nav, Landing Aids and approach charts.
- Knowledge of terrain is very vital particularly during monsoons and adverse Wx Conditions. Study the terrain thoroughly and have full knowledge about the Minimum Enroute Altitude, Minimum Safe Altitude, MORA, grid MORA, natural and manmade obstructions enroute and around airfield, Helipads.
- Be current in instrument flying/simulator flying and know the limitation of Aircraft/Helicopter and your own limitations.
- Ensure serviceability of your weather radar, wind screen wipers, Nav aids, communication equipment, Radio Altimeter, ELT, flying instruments, nav and flashing beacons etc.
- It is very essential to plan the flight meticulously keeping in mind the weather conditions, availability of diversionary airfields. On number of occasions due to widespread thunderstorms; it may not be possible to reach your destination and even the diversionary airfield/helipad. Fuel planning has to be as per the CAR on the subject and plan for extra fuel to cater for contingencies.
- Carry out thorough preflight briefing, covering the aspect of CRM,Situation and terrain awareness, weather conditions and contingency plans in case of adverse weather.
- Remember the Golden Rule in Aviation. Aviate, Navigate, Communicate. One of the Pilot should be flying/monitoring the aircraft / Helicopter all the Time. Accident happen when both the pilots are busy doing something else and no one is flying and monitoring.
- Do not get pressurized for any reason to undertake the flight and take no chances with weather. Don’t hesitate to say NO regardless of pressures.
- No show off, false sense of pride, ego, macho attitude. Number of aircrew have lost their lives while taking chance with weather.
- Effective team work and synergy are of paramount importance. Cockpit/Authority gradient related issues should be addressed to ensure better synergy and coordination between crew.
- A knowledgeable and alert Co Pilot/First Officer is a great asset in the cockpit. Co Pilot/First Officer should be good monitor of the situation and provide full cooperation and support to the Captain. Co Pilot should keep in mind that in spite of the experience levels, the Captain can get disoriented, loose situational awareness and commit errors. An alert and situationally aware Co Pilot can caution the Captain in time and help in preventing mishaps.
- It is essential to maintain open atmosphere in the cockpit so as to enable Co Pilot/First Officer to give inputs without any fear, apprehension or reservation.
- Bird Hazards increase during Monsoon Months due to water accumulation and vegetation growth. After vegetation clearance, plenty of insects and reptiles get exposed which attract birds and increase bird hazard. Keep these aspects in mind to avoid bird strikes.
- High Humidity and Temperatures which are typical of monsoon season, can lead to fatigue and stress among Pilots. This aspect has to be kept in mind since stressed and fatigued pilots are more prone to errors.
- Use the Weather Radar in conjunction with weather reports and forecast to detect, analyse and avoid weather. If the weather situation is bad and widespread, then do not press on. Divert or return to your base in time.
- Most of the accidents during bad weather occur during approach and landing. As far as possible, carry out ILS approach, if available. Otherwise, Continuous Descent Final Approach (CDFA) in case of Non Precision Approach.
- Chances of accidents in Non-Precision Approaches are 5 times more than during ILS approaches. Be very careful about horizontal and vertical situational awareness.
- Remember the landing techniques on wet, contaminated runways, be familiar with risk of hydroplaning, cross wind landing Techniques, essential aspects of stabilized approach, use of reverse thrust and spoilers.
- Never hesitate to go around or divert if the situation demands. DGCA/ATC/Operator need no explanation for go around/diversion on grounds of Safety.Follow the SOP meticulously. Take the decision to divert in time before it is too late.
- While orbiting or in hold waiting for your turn to land, particularly at busy airports like Delhi,Mumbai,Chennai,Kolkata,Bangalore,Hyderabad, be fully alert and situationally aware about the availability of diversionary airports, weather conditions, availability of approach and landing aids and fuel state. Do not delay decision to divert if situation demands.
- Have good CRM in the cockpit. Remember the phenomenon of spatial disorientation and apply the knowledge about it intelligently. Trust your instruments and do not look outside while flying on instruments.
- With weather, no amount of experience or heroism works. Never be overconfident, respect weather and prepare well for your sortie. Do not press on regardless of adverse weather even if you are highly experienced.
- Most of the flying by helicopters is VFR. Ensure that flying is undertaken with ground contact. Keep a very sharp look out for obstructions like pylons, cables, TV towers, Communication poles/towers, high rise buildings, tall trees, hills, high ground etc.
- If forced to descend below clouds (Helicopters) to remain in contact with ground and unable to maintain safe height, than it is better to divert, return to base or land at suitable place (Air Safety Circular 09/2013), rather than continue at low heights in poor visibility conditions.
- Importance of correct Altimeter setting, cross check between Captain, Co Pilots/First Officer, altitude/Height Call Outs, correlation of the altitude/Height with Radio Altimeter, needs special emphasis. Do not ignore EGPWS/TAWS warnings.
- Do not disengage autopilot while flying under IMC conditions. Make use of TOGA switch as per SOP whenever situation demands.
Proper picketing, lashing of Aircraft/Helicopters is essential to prevent damage due to strong gusty wind conditions.
Ensure the bonding of Aircraft/Helicopter is intact to prevent lightning strikes.
Take great care during refueling lest water enters fuel tanks. Proper bonding during refueling needs no emphasis.
Ensure that the Aircraft/Helicopter are not parked in low lying areas which are prone to flooding, water logging specially in high rain density areas like Mumbai etc.
Rain Water and high humidity during monsoons have adverse effects on electronics equipment and spurious warnings. Ensure protection by parking inside hangars if possible. Use suitable covers when parking in the Open.
Ensure that the Aircraft/Helicopter is properly sealed when parked. Danger of reptiles entering the Ac/helicopter are high during monsoons due flooding.
Kuchcha /grassy landing surface becomes soggy during rains. Ensure due caution during landing, parking. Wheels/skids getting stuck on wet surface may lead to dynamic roll over conditions. Skidding while fast taxying/turning is expected on wet surfaces. Exercise caution.
Birds are known to make nest in the areas of air intakes, exhaust and other available space on Aircraft/Helicopters even with in a very short duration. Carry out proper externals.
Make sure that soft parts of the Aircraft/Helicopter like stabilizers/antennas etc. are covered while parked with proper covers to prevent damage due to hail storms.
AMEs, Technicians to exercise due caution while servicing the Aircraft/Helicopter since chances of slipping are high due to wet surfaces.
Carry out special checks on aircraft/helicopter parts/equipment which are likely to get affected due to rain water. Rusting of the parts is another hazard.
Although efforts have been made to include all the aspects related to monsoon flying yet there may be some points which might have been missed out. Operators, supervisors, aircrew, maintenance staff are requested to include those which have been missed out or are particularly applicable in their area of operations. Let us all involve ourselves to ensure safe flying during monsoons.
All the best and happy landings.