Pilots & their finances may not be so lucky to fly again if COVID19 +ve-Mindfly

COVID19 has the potential to damage the lungs & heart. Pilots may survive a COVID19 infection but may not fly again. There is a need to ask some direct questions to the authorities and airlines. “I am risking the rest of my career but I may not have a job too” my thoughts at the moment. (Walter Rego has explained the financial impact in detail)

ICAO, IFALPA and others need to address the crew medical recovery procedure at the earliest. So far, the ICAO aviation medicine requirement is that the pilot needs to be disease-free. The secondary impact of the disease will have greater repercussions.

PPE saves lives?

False sense of safety is what PPE’s give. It is highly unsafe for a pilot to be wearing the full PPE with a mask and hood. What is there is a need to don the emergency oxygen? Regulations require the O2 mask to be donned in 5 seconds using one hand and without affecting the eye glasses. Its just not possible.

The world is reeling under the stress of COVID19 virus pandemic. The mortality rate stands low and those with pre-existing illnesses, getting on with the years are at greater risk.

Clinical Classifications:

Mild Cases: The clinical symptoms are mild and no pneumonia manifestations can be found in imaging.

Moderate Cases: Patients have symptoms such as fever and respiratory tract symptoms, etc. and pneumonia manifestations can be seen in imaging.

Severe Cases: Adults who meet any of the following criteria: respiratory rate >30 breaths/min; oxygen saturations <93% at a rest state; arterial partial pressure of oxygen (PaO,)/oxygen concentration (FiO,) s; <=300 mm Hg. Patients with> 50% lesions progression within 24 to 48 hours in lung imaging should be treated as severe cases.

Critical Cases: Meeting any of the following criteria: occurrence of respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation; the presence of shock; other organ failures that require monitoring and treatment in the ICU.

How can a respiratory illness like COVID-19 damage the heart?

Can COVID-19 damage the heart? Yes: Although COVID-19 — the disease caused by the coronavirus that’s led to the global pandemic — is primarily a respiratory or lung disease, the heart can also suffer.

Early reports coming out of China and Italy, two areas where COVID-19 took hold earlier in the pandemic, show that up to 1 in 5 patients with the illness end up with heart damage. Heart failure has been the cause of death in COVID-19 patients, even those without severe breathing problems such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, or ARDS.

Not all heart problems related to this coronavirus — officially called SARS-CoV-2—are alike, however. Cardiologist Erin Michos, M.D., M.H.S., explains the different ways the virus — and the body’s response to it — can cause heart damage.

“There are multiple mechanisms for heart damage in COVID-19, and not everyone is the same,” Michos says. Temporary or lasting damage to heart tissue can be due to several factors:

Financial grounding (written by Walter Rego)

I am thankful to Walter Rego for this contribution and helping putting forth the inevitable.

“After considering the risk, signing a new contract makes no sense.  In normal times with no risk (of disease), we get a take-home of ‘X’ amount – lowest being 70lakhs/per annum(USD93,000)  – ours is a rare skill involving so many licenses + a VALID medical– so in abnormal times they should pay us, even more, to come out and fly.

– The pandemic is ‘still on’ it’s not over, and the chances of getting infected are very high especially since the virus is so contagious.
Let’s say you contract the virus and fall sick (several pilots in the high-risk category) if u recover from the disease there is a good chance that u may be PMU – as it attacks ur heart tissue and lung tissue and you may have permanent damage.
Its gonna be a statistical occurrence…let’s say of 5% of the pilots. 
It is also highly possible that you make take the disease home and give it to a family member.  Also due to reduced revenue the hotels the transportation everything is gonna be substandard, and out of your control.
If they propose the pay cut after the pandemic over and it’s all safe then considering a pay cut due to a recession may make sense, but right now for the risk- I would actually ask for even more money or choose to sit at home.

Also, remember the treatment for COVID in a good hospital is almost 7 lakhs – they will quarantine everyone living in your home in a substandard facility and flight crew will have mandatory testing.  The disease being super highly infectious, let’s say 2 people from your family are affected- u lose 14 lakh or even the family member.

With the pay cuts/altered hourly flying based salary being announced (illegally) by airlines, pilots (Capt’s in some airlines) would almost take home 25 lakhs(USD33,000) max this year.
Even if the Pilot is 40 years of age he has another 25 years to go contracting the virus and going to a hospital and then running the risk of being PMU it makes absolutely no sense to go to work but to wait it out till the pandemic is over and then start flying. “

Pharma drugs & organs

Chloroquine phosphate: dizziness, headache, nausea, vomit, diarrhoea, different kinds of skin rash. The most severe adverse reaction is cardiac arrest. The main adverse reaction is ocular toxicity.

Combination of drugs also cause fatal arrhythmia, severe coma.

The psychological stress and symptoms of COVID-19 patients

Confirmed COVID-19 patients often have symptoms such as regret and resentment, loneliness and helplessness, depression, anxiety and phobia, irritation and sleep deprivation. Some patients may have panic attacks.

Psychological evaluations in the isolated wards demonstrated that about 48% of confirmed COVID-19 patients manifested psychological stress during early admission, most of which were from their emotional response to stress. The percentage of delirium is high among critically ill patients.

There is even a report of encephalitis induced by the SARS-CoV-2 leading to psychological symptoms such as unconsciousness and irritability.

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Boeing whistleblower alleges systemic problems with 737 MAX

A Boeing engineer who last year lodged an internal ethics complaint alleging serious shortcomings in development of the 737 MAX has written to a U.S. Senate committee asserting that systemic problems with the jet’s design “must be fixed before the 737 MAX is allowed to return to service.”

The letter to the Senate, a copy of which was obtained by The Seattle Times, was written by engineer Curtis Ewbank, a 34-year-old specialist in flight-deck systems whose job when the MAX was in early stages of development involved studying past crashes and using that information to make new planes safer.

His letter, sent earlier this month, argues that it’s not enough for Boeing to fix the flawed Maneuvering Characteristics Augmentation System (MCAS) that’s known to have brought down the aircraft in two crashes in Indonesia and Ethiopia.

“I have no doubt the FAA and lawmakers are under considerable pressure to allow the 737 MAX to return to service as quickly as possible and as soon as the public MCAS flaw is fixed,” Ewbank told the Senate.  “However, given the numerous other known flaws in the airframe, it will be just a matter of time before another flight crew is overwhelmed by a design flaw known to Boeing and further lives are senselessly lost.”

He goes on to suggest similar shortcomings in the flight-control systems may affect the safety of Boeing’s forthcoming 777X widebody jet.

Ewbank’s letter also reveals that he has been interviewed about his concerns by the FBI, which suggests his allegations have at least been considered as part of the Justice Department’s probe into what went wrong on the 737 MAX and whether the actions of anyone at Boeing were criminal.

He mentions he has also delivered details of his allegations to the lead investigator on the U.S. House Committee on Transportation, chaired by Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore.

In 2014, during early work on the MAX’s development, Ewbank worked unsuccessfully to have Boeing upgrade the MAX’s flight-control systems by adding a new data measurement system called Synthetic Airspeed that would have served as a check on multiple sensors. If it had been implemented, he believes it might have prevented the fatal crashes.

Ewbank’s original internal ethics complaint, first reported last October by The Seattle Times, alleged that Boeing rejected his safety upgrades because of management’s focus on schedule and cost considerations and the insistence that anything that might require more pilot training would not be considered.

He also alleged that Boeing pushed regulators at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to relax certification requirements for the airplane, particularly in regard to the cockpit systems for alerting pilots that something is wrong inflight.

Those systems on the MAX have been under scrutiny because during the two fatal MAX crashes that killed 346 people, pilots struggled to understand the cascade of warnings in their cockpits.

‘Hand-waving and deception’

Ewbank’s letter to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation was sent June 5, ahead of a public hearing Wednesday that featured scathing criticism of FAA Administrator Stephen Dickson for his agency’s lack of progress in addressing the lapses of oversight in certifying the MAX.

Ewbank criticizes not only Boeing for its design of the MAX but also the FAA for approving the design without proper oversight.

“The 737 MAX’s original certification was accomplished with hand-waving and deception to hide the numerous ways the 1960s-era design of the 737 does not meet current regulatory standards,” he wrote.

And he hit out at a recent Department of Transportation (DOT) advisory panel report on the MAX crashes that recommended only minor changes to the way airplanes are certified, preserving Boeing’s central role in that process. Ewbank called the report “a serious threat to aviation safety and the flying public.”

“If the FAA was truly regulating in the public interest, it would take action against Boeing for its continued deception and gross errors in the design and production of the 737 MAX by withdrawing Boeing’s production certificate,” he concluded.

Ansley Lacitis, deputy chief of staff for Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington, said her office “was made aware of the letter right before the hearing” on Wednesday.

“The first step of a whistleblower investigation is to make contact with the whistleblower and we have done that,” Lacitis said. “We take these and other allegations seriously and continue to investigate them.”

In a statement, Boeing said company officials have not seen the letter.

“Boeing offers its employees a number of channels for raising concerns and complaints and has rigorous processes in place that ensure complaints receive thorough consideration and protect employee confidentiality,” the statement said. “Boeing does not comment on the substance or existence of such internal complaints.”

Boeing’s statement adds that “when the MAX returns to service, it will be one of the most thoroughly scrutinized aircraft in history, and we have full confidence in its safety.”

Ewbank could not be reached for comment.

After the Seattle Times made public his internal ethics complaint, Boeing placed Ewbank on leave. “We can confirm that Mr. Ewbank remains an employee in good standing,” company spokesman Bernard Choi said this week.

Flawed flight-deck systems

One conclusion of the DOT report on the MAX crashes was that if the 737 MAX had been certified as an all-new jet instead of as a derivative of the earlier model, it “would not have produced more rigorous scrutiny … and would not have produced a safer airplane.”

Ewbank calls this “utterly incorrect.”

He cites specific regulations for which Boeing, because the MAX was considered a derivative model, didn’t have to meet the latest safety standards. And he points to how these shortcomings could have affected the pilots in the two crashes.

He wrote that because Boeing, for certification purposes, had to evaluate only flight-deck systems that had changed from the 737 NG model, Boeing missed the opportunity to evaluate pilot reaction times.

Boeing has admitted that it made incorrect assumptions about those reaction times in designing the new system — the MCAS —  that brought down both MAX planes that crashed.

Although MCAS was new, its operation depended on other unchanged systems and its interactions with those systems were not analyzed, Ewbank wrote.

By choosing to certify the jet as an amended version of the earlier model, Boeing “severely limited the range of human factors evaluation of 737 MAX systems,” he said.

And in a comment on Boeing’s forthcoming large widebody jet, Ewbank added: “The changed/unchanged system line on the 777X is even more convoluted and involves more complicated systems than the 737 MAX.”

Ewbank reiterates his internal critique of the crew-alerting systems on the MAX, saying they failed to meet the current standards for such alerts, which are supposed to be “designed with the latest understanding of human factors to present information to flight crews and prompt appropriate reaction in critical scenarios.”

“These flaws were known to Boeing as it worked with the FAA to certify the
737 MAX, and awareness of this was creatively hidden or outright withheld from regulators,” he wrote.

Ewbank also revisits his unsuccessful push to have Synthetic Airspeed added to make the MAX safer, which would have made more reliable the various air-data measures used by the flight-control computer, including the angle of attack, the angle between the jet’s wing and the oncoming air stream.

It was a faulty angle of attack reading on each of the crash flights that initiated the operation of MCAS.

“The known unreliability of air data, due to the potential for erroneous data caused by external factors, makes the initial design of MCAS simply unacceptable” Ewbank wrote. Yet, he says, “upper management shut down the (Synthetic Airspeed) project over cost and training concerns.”

According to a person familiar with the discussions, the FAA and Boeing, along with the European air safety regulator EASA, are discussing various system “enhancements” that Boeing could add to the MAX after it returns to service, with no firm decisions yet made.

Last week, on the specialist aviation website The Air Current, Jon Ostrower reported that Synthetic Airspeed or an equivalent system is one of the enhancements under consideration. Boeing would not confirm that.

Michael Stumo, whose daughter Samya died in last year’s MAX crash in Ethiopia, on Thursday also received a copy of Ewbank’s letter.

“This is the most comprehensive engineering analysis I’ve seen yet,” Stumo said. “It calls into question whether the MAX should ever fly again.”

“People have to die”

Ewbank notes that he left Boeing in 2015 “in protest of management actions to rationalize the poor design of the 737 MAX. I did not think I could do my duty as an engineer to protect the safety of the public in the environment created by management at Boeing.”

He asserts that, “Prior to my departure in 2015, my manager argued against the design changes I wanted to make by stating, ‘People have to die before Boeing will change things.’”

Ewbank returned to Boeing in 2018 to work on the 777X.

“I returned to the company and quickly witnessed the nightmare of the very accidents I had tried to prevent happen in real life,” he writes.

After the second MAX crash in Ethiopia, he filed his internal ethics complaint.

Ewbank concludes his letter to the Senate by calling for a series of actions to improve the rigor of the airplane certification process, particularly in his area of expertise: flight-deck systems.

He asks that FAA regulations be thoroughly revamped “to ensure they reflect a modern understanding of computer technology and human-machine interfaces.”

He calls for a shift in the way certification work on new airplanes is delegated by the FAA to Boeing itself and how the flow of information between the two is restricted.

“The decision to sign off on any particular design at Boeing has been culturally expropriated from the engineers to management,” he wrote.

In this critique, he mirrors criticism by the Senate committee itself, which this week proposed legislation to tighten controls on the FAA’s delegation of work and ensure direct communication between FAA and Boeing technical experts on certification details.

DGCA probing AirAsia India after pilot complains of violation

NEW DELHI: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has launched a probe into AirAsia India after a pilot levelled allegations of safety breaches by the airline on social media.
The pilot, who airline officials say has been suspended pending inquiry into disciplinary charges, had levelled charges in a video that went viral on Monday.

Taking cognisance of that, the DGCA tweeted: “DGCA has taken note of the concerns raised by some stakeholders against a particular airline and its approach to safety. DGCA has already started an investigation into the issues flagged and shall take appropriate action based on the outcome of the said investigation.”

In a statement, AirAsia India said that it “stands firmly on its value of ‘safety always’. The safety of our guests is of paramount importance in every aspect of our operations. AirAsia India is cognisant of the matter in regard to a social media post put up by one of its employees. We are cooperating with the DGCA on this matter. As a policy, AirAsia India does not comment on matters pertaining to its business or employees.”

Charges by the Pilot:-

The fear of taking a sick leave.

In the YouTube video where Taneja details the circumstances around his suspension, the AirAsia India pilot talks about an environment that discouraged pilots from taking a sick leave despite being unwell. This is a job that is responsible for about 200 people’s lives and needs a high level of physical and mental fitness.

Pilots from other airlines agreed with Taneja. “Pilots do fear asking for a sick leave, as it may lead to punitive action,” a pilot with over 20 years of flying experience, told Moneycontrol. The punitive action may be in the form of a lower bonus, at the end of the year.

“On any other job, one could go to work despite feeling a bit under the weather. As a pilot, I can’t afford to do that,” says the pilot cited above.

At the same time, added another aviator, the management also takes notice if a pilot is repeatedly taking sick leave or takes off on festivals despite being rostered to fly.

One does not know the factors around Taneja’s allegations, and only the investigation by DGCA can throw light.

SOPs not being followed

Taneja alleges that the airline was not strictly adhering to the SoPs issued by the government, on flying amidst COVID-19 times.

Though the pilot doesn’t get into the details on which SoPs were not being followed, one gathers he was talking about the procedures to be followed within the aircraft. Taneja alleges that he was forced to delay a flight by 40 minutes because SoPs were not being followed.

Is it the responsibility of the pilot-in-command (PIC) to ensure SoPs are followed in the flight, or should he just leave it to the ground handling team?

It’s a topic that seems to have different views.

“Pilot becomes responsible for the aircraft only once the doors are closed. Otherwise, he should let the ground handling team manage it,” says a senior executive from the industry.

Country’s largest airline IndiGo, another senior executive pointed out, details in its manual that the PIC assumes command of the flight the moment he signs the aircraft acceptance, and he is responsible “for the safe execution of the flight and for the safety of the occupants…and orderly conduct of the flight..”

The ‘flight’ is the key word here. The manual defines ‘flight’ to represent the period between ‘doors closed’ and ‘doors open.’

Amit Singh, an industry veteran and Fellow of London’s Royal Aeronautical Society, points to the Civil Aviation Regulations – which advises airlines on several aviation aspects. “The pilot-in-command shall be responsible for the safety of all crew members, passengers and cargo on board when the doors are closed,” says the CAR.

So going by the CAR, is Taneja technically responsible for the SoPs that are to be done before the doors close?

A senior pilot agreed with the CAR guidelines, but added that when it comes to the COVID-19 SoPs, the policy may differ from airline to airline.

On Taneja’s concerns, one will have to wait for the investigations to reveal if he was following the protocol laid down by the company, or not.

Flap 3 or Flap 4

Taneja’s third and final point was on Flap 3 and Flap 4.

Flaps are installed on an aircraft’s wings and are mainly used to create a drag in the speed of the plane while landing or taking off. This in turn can reduce the distance required for landing and take-off.

Flap 3 saves fuel – about 8kg – a reason why nearly all airlines advise their pilots to use this mode, rather than Flap 4.

But in the case of AirAsia India, alleges Taneja, the airline had made it mandatory for its pilots to use Flap 3, for 98 percent of their landings. In one particular month, Taneja says, he had done 10 landings, out of which seven were done using Flap 3, thus making it only 70 percent.

Two of the landings, says Taneja, were in Imphal where landing is complicated and thus he used Flap 4. Should he have compromised on passenger safety to save fuel, he asks.

Again, industry has differing views on this. “AirAsia India isn’t wrong in asking him to do a F3 landing to conserve fuel. It’s done the world over,” says a senior pilot with a private airline.

At the same time, pilots point out that few airlines put a target to using Flap3. “It’s an advisory. There are better ways to save fuel. In fact, if you plan your descent properly, a pilot can save more than 100 kg of fuel,” says a senior pilot.

Amit Singh says the solution may lie in wording the advisory. “If the airline wants its pilots to consistently perform FLAP 3 landings instead of Flap Full, then what should the policy read? As per my understanding, the policy should be:

“Normal flaps for landing is Flap 3 but, at the discretion of the pilot in command, up-to a maximum of 2 percent landings can be performed with Flap Full.

“People tend to avoid risk when a positive frame is presented but seek risks when a negative frame is presented,” Singh says in his blog Mindfly.

One can’t say if a different framing of the advisory would have prompted Taneja to react differently. At the same time, it’s an interesting thought. Can policymakers bring in more positivity to their regulations?

The style

While the three issues raised by Taneja have set off a debate in the industry, executives have also discussed the method the senior pilot has used to air his grievances.

Few employees take to social media to raise allegations against their employer. And that, say experts, may not be the ideal way.

“Talking about it is publicly about an organisation, there is a reputational risk of the company. From an HR point of view, it is not at all advisable to go immediately on social media and share details. Maybe one can speak about any concern about an organisation one he/she has left the company and also preferably without naming the firm,” says Aditya Narayan Mishra, CEO, CIEL HR Services.

He adds that talking about confidential information that one is privy to at the workplace, on social media, is not just contractually disallowed but is also ‘morally incorrect.’

For sure, the suspension of Gaurav Taneja has raised many an issue and may set a precedent in the industry.


Looking London Landing Tokyo, the wrong runway at Haneda:mindFly


On Thursday, December 22, 2016, an Airbus A320-214, registered JA811P, operated by PeachAviation Co., Ltd, as the scheduled Flight 1028 of the company, while approaching runway 16L of Tokyo International Airport, mistakenly tried to approach for runway 23 which was closed at 00:39 JST. An air traffic controller in the control tower noticed the situation and instructed it to go around at the position of about 5 miles east of the airport. Afterwards, the aircraft landed on runway 16L at 00:55 JST via visual approach following radar-vectored.

JTSB Full investigation report

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Estimated flight route

Probable cause, JTSB report

It is probable that the serious incident occurred because aircraft, conducting VOR-A approach to land on runway 16L of Tokyo International Airport, mistakenly tried to approach for runway 23 which was closed.

It is probable that the aircraft mistakenly tried to approach for runway 23 which was closed because advance preparations for VOR A approach by the captain and the first officer were not sufficient, and they could not recognize the runway change instruction to land as a threat and then they failed to manage workloads, properly monitor and advise.

MindFly Human Factor analysis

Tokyo Approach instructed that the Aircraft would be set to land on runway 34R. Later, Tokyo Approach reported that he expected to change landing runway to runway 16L. As per the investigation report, the Captain was amazed because he did not expect any possibilities of landing runway change at all and he had no idea about the reason for this change, but he thought that he could manage to address this situation because it was good weather around the Airport. He asked the FO to set up MCDU15, but later he noticed that the FO looked confused.

Expectation Bias 

Purdue University carried out a study of accidents incidents of landing on wrong runways and wrong airports. One of the reasons for landing at the wrong surface is that flight crew have a mental picture of the airport and orientation of the runways, this is compared with what the pilot see outside. The pilots misjudge the time, speed, distance and; finally, misidentify the landing surface through the distortion of facts of the facts of reality (Antuano & Mohler, 1989). The pilots are thus, disoriented and are inadequately informed by the external visual environment. This is more so when transiting from instrument conditions to visual conditions.

Visual cognition is limited by the number of computations it can perform, because the brain can process only a fraction of the visual faculties in detail, and by the inherent ambiguity of the information entering the visual system (Christopher, 2011). The brain prioritizes the information to reduce the burden. Attention prioritizes stimulus processing on the basis of motivational relevance, and expectations constrain visual interpretation on the basis of prior likelihood.

The expectation is the state of the brain that reflects prior information about what is possible or probable in the forthcoming sensory environment. Expectation leads to faster acquisition and interpretation of the visual input.


The crew had prepared and briefed for an ILS approach for runway 34R. The position of the runway from the arrival route would have been turning left after crossing point ‘KAIHO’ and the runway would have been straight ahead.

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ILS 34R, runway position with respect to the initial track flown

The Captain had this mental image in mind when he prepared and briefed for the approach. The last minute change of runway to use runway 16L did not reprocess the mental image. The Captain flew the arrival route and the moment he saw a runway on his left, he turned and aligned with the runway. This is what he was expecting to see visually. The mental image matched with the visual image and expectation bias over ruled all visual indications of a wrong runway and that too a closed runway.

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It is imperative not only to reprogram the FMS for a correct visual representation of the runway on the navigation display but also to reprogram the mental image. The supporting crew plays an important role in this situation but is also challenged due to suddenly increased workload. The importance of briefing is exemplified here. We all carry out normal briefings but the SOP must also include strategies for handling change and that too last minute change. Unless there is a plan B ready and you are convinced and reprogrammed mentally, do not proceed.

My paper on “Inattentional blindness during visual approach”. This could have been the worlds worst air disaster.

Own a drone in India? Here’s your guide to get it enlisted in a jiffy!

On 13th January’20, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA) issued a public notice providing a one time opportunity for the voluntary disclosure of civil drones and drone operators on their Digital Sky platform by January 31. The Digital Sky Platform is an exclusive portal for national unmanned traffic management launched in 2018. This platform came up with a total count of 19,533 UAVs or drones in the country, which were registered in their January 14th-31st window earlier this year. On public demand, the MoCA decided to resume the drone registration last week, for those who missed it in the first phase. The registration started on June 8th and has been kept open-ended, so far.

Why is Enlisting important?

As per the ‘No permission-No take off’ policy, a drone user needs to use the DGCA’s software program DigiSky to obtain valid permissions before operating drones in India. Drone enlistment has two parts- after uploading the owner’s details- the owner would get a unique Ownership Acknowledgement Number (OAN). Using this OAN, the owner needs to upload the device’s information to get a Device Acknowledgment Number (DAN).

Each drone will require a fresh enlistment. Since a drone owner may have multiple drones, the owner shall use the same OAN to enlist all drones owned by him. A separate DAN will be issued for each drone.”, as per the registration website.

Most government tenders for drones ask for UIN (Unique Identification Number) or DAN as an eligibility condition. However, possession of an OAN or DAN does not confer the right to operate the drone in India if it does not fulfill the provisions given in the civil aviation requirements (CAR).

“ Ownership of a drone in India without a valid OAN and DAN shall invite penal action as per applicable laws.”

Keeping security implications in mind, the DGCA, in August 2018, issued a set of rules to regulate the use of drones in the Indian airspace, which requires obtaining UIN and UAOP (unmanned aircraft operator permit) and other operational requirements. This rule also states that people using non registered drones would be penalized under IPC 287 that is for “negligent conduct with respect to machinery” and provides for jail up to 6 months and/or fine up to Rs 1,000. The DGCA rule provides punishment under IPC sections 336, 337, 338, or any relevant section if anyone is found using an unregistered UAV.

Keep your documents ready

Make sure to keep the following documents handy while filling the enlistment form:-

1. Scanned copy of Passport’s first and last page (in one sheet) or Aadhaar card’s front and back view (in one sheet).

2. Three high-quality pictures of your drone: front-view, top-view; and a close-up view of the manufacturer’s serial number. Each picture should have a physical measuring-scale placed adjacent to the drone in order to provide a reasonable approximation of its dimensions.

3. Copy of any utility bill (electricity, water, gas, fixed-line telephone, or mobile phone) or a bank statement not older than 3 months.

4. Copy of the highest educational qualification (required ONLY for individual owners).

5. PAN card of the organization (NOT required for individual owners).

6. Letter on official letterhead certifying appointment of Authorised Signatory (NOT required for individual owners).

Each document or picture should be less than 300kb in size and if all the above-mentioned items are readily available with you, filling up the form would barely take 25 minutes of your time.

Join the growing drone community

According to official government data, 1,832 nano, 13,735 micro, 2,808 small, 140 medium, and 1,038 large drones or UAVs were registered during the stipulated time back in January’20.

“The registration was a significant achievement as far as we are concerned because we never expected such a high number,” said Amber Dubey, the Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Civil Aviation, which carried out the survey.

“The registrations are just the beginning. Next, we will have the training of drone users, the tracking of drones, and the mapping to ensure that drones don’t intrude into sensitive areas,” Dubey added. The initiative ⁠ — akin to a ‘drone census’ ⁠ — is an attempt to identify civil drones and operators in India. All types of drones including models, prototypes, toys, RC aircraft, autonomous, and remotely piloted aircraft systems, will have to obtain a DAN, the Ministry informed.

Smit Shah, director of partnerships, Drone Federation of India, said, “The exercise will give us a picture of who owns what kind of drone in which part of the country. This data will help in making policy decisions and should ideally become the base for understanding the scale of drone operations in India. Finally, there is a way to get existing drones in the legal framework, and only if you register then in the future probably you will be considered, and some sort of a structure will be formed in which you can fly. This may enable the flying of drones easily in the future while maintaining high standards of safety, security, and accountability.”

Go on, tap the link — https://www.dronenlisting.dgca.gov.in/, to enlist your drones right now. Good luck!

India’s DGCA frets over more loss of control incidents


India’s aviation regulator has identified airprox incidents, runway incursions and unstable approaches among its eight safety priorities, following a spike in cases during 2018.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has also flagged in-flight loss of control as a new area of concern, following a two-fold increase in incidents.

It notes that while there have been no fatal accidents involving commercial airliners under its jurisdiction, incidents involving the eight areas of concern have exceeded or breached targets.

In 2018, there were 1.54 loss of control incidents per 10,000 departures, nearly twice the 0.64 incidents per 10,000 departures recorded the previous year.

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Source: DGCA India

DGCA data showing the number of loss of control events in 2018.

The DGCA classifies loss of control events as including low speed during approach and cruise; bank angle exceeding the maximum permitted; and windshear below 500ft.

“Loss of control events have shown an increase and have emerged as an area of focus,” the DGCA states, but does not elaborate how it is intending to address the issue.

The DGCA data also reveals an increase in the overall number of airprox incidents: during 2018, there were 16.2 cases per 1 million flights.

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Source: DGCA India

DGCA data showing the number of airprox incidents in 2018.

Risk-bearing airprox incidents increased year on year, with number of cases exceeding targets set. In 2018, there were 2.76 such cases per 1 million flights, up from 2017’s rate of 1.86 cases and above the DGCA’s target of 1.8 incidents per 1 million flights.

The agency notes, however, that the number of loss of separation incidents over Indian airspace has decreased.

It adds that the main cause for airprox incidents are air traffic control or system failures. In 2018, there were about 14.5 incidents per 1 million flights, a marked increase from 2017’s 8.17 cases.

To this end, the DGCA has tasked the country’s air navigation service provider with reviewing the figures and developing measures to address the rise in incidents.

Unstable approaches also rose year on year to 7.79 incidents per 10,000 approaches, up on 2017’s figure of 6.28, and above DGCA’s target of 6.1 incidents per 10,000 approaches.

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Source: DGCA India

DGCA data showing the number of unstable approaches in 2018.

Nearly all the aircaft involved in unstable approaches continued with their landing, it adds.

The DGCA, which states it adopts a “non-punitive policy” towards go-arounds, adds: “All such occurrences are being investigated and corrective actions are being applied.”

The agency has also flagged the rise in the number of runway incursions, particularly those caused by other aircraft and vehicles.

2018 saw 12.8 runway incursions by aircraft per 1 million aircraft movements, up from 7.95 in 2017.

There were also 2.71 runway incursions caused by vehicles, a significant jump from 2017’s 0.42 per 1 million aircraft movements.

The DGCA identifies the three main causes as a loss of situational awareness by pilots, non-familiarisation with aerodrome layout, as well as complicated airport and/or taxiway design.

Moving forward, the DGCA will increase safety training, as well as “performance based oversight which focuses on achieving the desired performance”.

“This will lead to a more active involvement and interaction of all players in managing the aviation safety system,” it adds.

Free Safety Management System Training for Aviation Personnel by Aviation Safety Management Society of India


Safety Management System is a very effective and proven management system to identify hazards in a proactive manner and to ensure that hazards do not turn into accidents, incidents, through timely elimination of hazards.

SMS was introduced in India for the first time on 20 Jul 10 by DGCA through the issue of a CAR. Since then DGCA has been making concerted efforts to ensure that the SMS is implemented in letter and spirit. In a recent audit by DGCA, it was observed that the implementation of SMS is lacking on many fronts and it is not being taken seriously by most of the Operators. The lack of proper implementation of SMS was also highlighted by the Honorable Minister of Civil Aviation during his briefing to the lawmakers in Parliament.

The Scope of SMS includes all the personnel of the operator right from the CEO downwards to lowest level including employees from Finance, HR, Admin and marketing etc. Every employee of the Company should be sensitized to the concept of Safety Management System depending on their role and responsibilities. Hence, everyone in an Aviation Company should be trained on SMS.

Most of the Operators have no choice but to train their employees i.e. Pilots, Cabin Crew, Accountable Executives/Managers, Chief, Deputy  Chief of Flight Safety and Safety Manager etc. as mandated by DGCA. Other employees of the Company obviously remain ignorant about the SMS in absence of any training.

It is pertinent to mention here that professional and vibrant Operators like Aviation Department of Gujarat and OSS Air Management have trained all their personnel including the class four helpers on SMS.

The Management of the Aviation organisations should appreciate that SMS is a very useful system to promote safety and hence, it would serve the interest of the Company towards maintenance of a safe operating environment. It needs to be remembered that Accidents are bad for business and reputation and can impact very heavily on the finances and survivability of a Company.

Keeping in mind the importance of SMS towards safety and the reluctance of the Operators to get the SMS training done for all their personnel due to financial considerations, ASMSI has decided to conduct Online  SMS training of all the personnel of a Company free of cost.

Kindly do not hesitate and feel free to avail this opportunity of getting all your personnel trained on SMS, without incurring any expenditure. Training of all your personnel on SMS will go a long way in enhancing safety of your operations and promoting safety culture in your organisation.

It must be remembered that Absence of Accidents does not mean that an organisation is Safe.

Air Commodore BS Siwach AVSM YSM VM (VETERAN) (9871251590)

Director General,Aviation safety Management Society of India






Aviation ministry targets July for resuming commercial international flights

With inquiries growing over the past few days, Union Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri has expressed his view on India’s plans to resume international commercial passenger flights.

On Friday, the minister tweeted: “We are continuously monitoring the situation and will consider restarting international flights as soon as situation normalises a bit and poses no danger to our citizens. We will also have to consider that countries, where we intend to fly, are open to incoming foreign citizens.”

Under ‘Unlock 1.0’ guidelines released by the Ministry of Home Affairs on May 30, international flight operations remain suspended till June 30.

In fact, the guidelines stated that the resumption of operations will be discussed in ‘phase 3’ of Unlock 1.0, a timeline for which was not set at the time.

India Today TV has now learnt from highly-placed sources that the Ministry of Civil Aviation is targeting resumption of regular international flights by July.

But Is this possible? Resumption of commercial international flights depends on several factors. To begin with, domestic civil aviation operations, which restarted after a two-month gap on May 25, will have to see an increase in the number of flights being operated.

Currently, the ministry has permitted airlines to operate 1/3rd capacity of the summer schedule, which roughly means 33 per cent of the overall capacity of flights are currently up in the air.

Even then, state governments have imposed restrictions and are curtailing operations, in view of the overall pandemic scenario in their respective states.

Aviation minister Hardeep Puri has indicated that domestic operations will have to touch the 50-60 per cent mark for international flights to become viable.

Fuel And Fuel Tanks In Parked Aircraft Face Additional Inspections

Fuel microbes thrive in heat and humidity. At a time when thousands of aircraft are parked, and not spending time at altitude where it’s much colder, the chance of contamination is higher than normal.

If fuel becomes contaminated it can corrode fuel tanks and cause wing structure damage. This means fuel testing must be carried out much more frequently in the current circumstances, especially on those aircraft standing idle in hot and humid places.

Aircraft in tropical areas—much of Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and Australasia—are considered to be at higher risk of microbiological contamination, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

Tests that used to be done at least once per year now need to be done about every other week, according to David Mitchell, global aviation manager at Conidia Bioscience, which develops fuel tests for various industries.

In addition to increased testing, operators are ramping-up fuel tank borescope or visual inspections for aircraft in a temporary parked situation. As operators or MROs run an aircraft to make sure the systems are working, the aircraft uses some fuel. This can leave residue in the tanks, which can cause problems. “If there is any moisture in the fuel tank because of heat or humidity, it can cause contamination,” Mitchell said. “The fungi has the ability to stick to the tank, so even if the fuel is free of contamination,” parked aircraft in hot or humid areas face increased microbial contamination, which warrants the extra inspections.

Conidia customer easyJet has increased testing from once per year to once every 14 days, and the airline is testing in 21 locations instead of one, Mitchell said.

For many operators or MROs, more frequent testing means sending more samples to the laboratory, which is where many test providers still process samples. To take fuel test samples, send them to labs, and wait for the results ordinarily takes 4-10 days. In this COVID-19 environment, when aircraft are scattered around airfields away from home bases, the process inevitably takes longer.

Conidia makes an on-site fuel test, Fuelstat. It is an antibody test that works similar to a pregnancy test, providing color-coded answers. Conidia says Fuelstat involves one person walking under the wing tanks to collect a 200-ml fuel sample from aircraft drain points, shaking the mixing bottle for five seconds, and then putting four drops into the six test wells. After waiting 10 minutes, the tests provide color-coded results (green, yellow or red). Once finished, the technician takes a picture and sends it to a manager. According to Conidia, the whole process takes 15 minutes and costs about $100 per kit.

Mitchell noted that in today’s social-distanced world, this solo operation that delivers results onsite is particularly relevant.

Proactive Safety Initiative- Precautions Monsoon Flying-Aviation Safety India

Proactive Safety Initiative- Precautions Monsoon Flying-Aviation Safety India


Dear Sir/Madam,

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.

Happy Landings. 

Thanking you

With warm Regards 

Air Cmde BS Siwach AVSM YSM VM (Veteran)

Director General (9871251590)

Aviation Safety Management Society of India

New Delhi.




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).


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 3 OF 2015 Date: 4th August 2015 OPERATIONS CIRCULAR, Subject: Crosswind and Tailwind Operational Limits.


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.

During Flight

  • 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.