SpiceJet Flight Makes Emergency Landing at Patna Airport due to Engine Fault

SpiceJet flight scheduled to fly from Patna to Amritsar had to make an emergency landing due to a technical error in the plane’s engine. As per a report, the SpiceJet flight SG 3723 had taken off from Patna airport at 11.30 AM on Sunday and had developed the engine issue. The pilot tried to complete the flight and have the plane checked after arriving in Amritsar, but as the plane was unable to achieve the required altitude, the pilot contacted the ATC for an emergency landing back at Patna airport.

Once the plane had landed back in Patna, the 65 passengers that were on board that flight were made to wait at the airport. Meanwhile, SpiceJet called for engineers to get the plane fixed and, as per the report, the engineers reached the spot three hours later and took an additional couple of hours to get the plane fixed once again.

Harpreet Singh appointed CEO of Alliance Air, first woman to head an Indian carrier

New Delhi: Breaking the glass ceiling of Indian aviation, a woman has become the CEO of a scheduled passenger Indian carrier for the first time with the government appointing Harpreet A De Singh to the position for Air India’s regional subsidiary Alliance Air.

Singh is currently AI’s executive director (flight safety). Captain Nivedita Bhasin, one of AI’s most senior commanders currently flying Boeing 787 Dreamliner, will be the new ED (flight safety) in place of Singh.

AI chairman and managing director Rajiv Bansal issued an an order on Friday saying Singh “will hold the charge of Alliance Air CEO post till further orders.” Captain Nivedita Bhasin has also been asked to head several other departments given her experience.

Alliance Air is not being sold off with the Air India-AI Express-AISATS combine and will remain a PSU for now. AI’s old Boeing 747s will be transferred to Alliance Air, which currently has a fleet of turboprops, if the Maharaja gets a buyer and is privatised.

Harpreet Singh was the first woman pilot to be selected by erstwhile Air India in 1988. However, she could not fly due to health reasons and has been very active in the area of flight safety. Singh has headed the Indian Women Pilot Association where Bhasin and other senior women commanders like Captain Kshamta Bajpai are seen as role models by budding pilots.

Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi inks training pact with Drone Destination

Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi inks training pact with Drone Destination. 

Government-run premier flying training institute, Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA) has inked an initial pact with Drone Destination to launch drone pilot training courses for aspirant professionals at the former”s Amethi campus in Uttar Pradesh.

Drone Destination is a sister-concern of the Delhi-based remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) manufacturing firm Hubblefly Technologies. 

Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU), the institute will provide its state-of-the-art infrastructure and Drone Destination its domain expertise in training drone pilots at the campus. 

IGRUA has always addressed the growing demand and the rapid technological transformation of the Indian aviation sector. As a part of its expansion program, it has partnered with Drone Destination to jointly launch drone pilot training courses, said a release on Thursday. 

“This MoU enables both the organisations to provide the best drone training to aspiring drone professionals using IGRUA”s state of the art infrastructure and Drone Destination”s expertise in providing high quality, professional drone training,” said Krishnendu Gupta, Director, IGRUA. 

Drone Destination aims to develop an integrated eco-system for RPAs right from manufacturing to training, services insurance, leasing and finance, as per the release.

Boeing 737 MAX plane: European aviation regulator declares aircraft safe to fly

In a major respite to American aerospace company Boeing, Europe’s top aviation regulator has declared its 737 MAX aircraft safe enough to return to skies. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is satisfied with the changes made to Boeing Co.’s 737 Max plane and said that it is safe enough to return to the region’s skies before 2020 is out, Bloomberg reported. This major announcement came even as some of the further upgrades, demanded by the agency would not ready for up to two years. In December 2019, Boeing had announced the suspension of 737 MAX production starting in January this year due to certification moving into 2020. 

EASA’s executive director Patrick Ky said that the agency is reviewing final document ahead of a draft airworthiness directive it expects to issue next month. It has already conducted test flights in September this year, as per the report. 

Ky further stated that the development of synthetic sensor to add redundancy will take 20 to 24 months. The EASA has made the sensor compulsory for the larger 737 Max 10 variant before its planned debut in 2022. Following this, this software-based solution would have to be retrofitted onto other versions too. 

In the wake of two fatal accidents involving 737 MAX planes, aviation regulators across the globe, in 2019, imposed a ban on flying these fuel-efficient aircraft. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) also ordered grounding of these planes in India. 

In India, low-cost carrier SpiceJet is the only company which has MAX aircraft in its fleet. The budget airline grounded 13 737 MAX planes in March last year.

 

 

Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi inks training pact with Drone Destination  

 

Mumbai: Government-run premier flying training institute, Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi (IGRUA) has inked an initial pact with Drone Destination to launch drone pilot training courses for aspirant professionals at the former”s Amethi campus in Uttar Pradesh.Drone Destination is a sister-concern of the Delhi-based remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) manufacturing firm Hubblefly Technologies.Under the memorandum of understanding (MoU), the institute will provide its state-of-the-art infrastructure and Drone Destination its domain expertise in training drone pilots at the campus. 

IGRUA has always addressed the growing demand and the rapid technological transformation of the Indian aviation sector. As a part of its expansion program, it has partnered with Drone Destination to jointly launch drone pilot training courses, said a release on Thursday. “This MoU enables both the organisations to provide the best drone training to aspiring drone professionals using IGRUA”s state of the art infrastructure and Drone Destination”s expertise in providing high quality, professional drone training,” said Krishnendu Gupta, Director, IGRUA. 

Drone Destination aims to develop an integrated eco-system for RPAs right from manufacturing to training, services insurance, leasing and finance, as per the release.

 

Drone and Cyber Attacks at Airports by our Adversaries cannot be ruled out. Concerned Agencies Need to Act and be alert and vigilant.

It is reported that India’s Airport Security is unprepared for dangerous enemies in the sky. In the age when drones across the border can unleash terror, India’s Airport security is not equipped. The Bureau of Civil Aviation Security had issued an order earlier for a time-bound deployment of drone interception technology at all the airports across the country. After nine months, not a single airport in India is equipped with the technology. In the year 2019, an on Annual Anti-Terror Conference of the National Investigation Agency with all the stakeholders including the law enforcement agencies of states, the issue of criminal drones, or the drones that can be deployed for any kind of criminal activity was discussed.

Our Civil Airports are a soft target and attacks using Drones is a serious threat. China is almost a Drone Super Power and can indulge in some kind of Drone attacks or interference through Drones in connivance with Pakistan. Hence, it is essential that immediate steps are taken to neutralise such threats before they reach anywhere close to striking distance.

Another Major threat which is looming large is the Cyber Attack on the communication and Navigation system at the airports by our adversaries or rogue elements. We are hopeful  that this threat has been analysed and appreciated by Cyber Security Agencies of the country  and they must be working overtime to face this challenge.

Altimeter Settings Awareness and Pitfalls

 Introduction

Incorrect altimeter setting and lack of awareness among Pilots about the importance of correct altimeter setting has caused many accidents or near accidents.

The aircraft/Helicopter altimeter barometric sub-scale must be set to the appropriate setting for the phase of flight. Failure to set the appropriate barometric sub-scale pressure setting may result in a significant deviation from the cleared altitude or Flight Level

Flight level. Standard pressure setting (1013 hPa) is set when flying by reference to flight levels above the transition altitude;

Altitude. Regional or airfield pressure setting (QNH) is set when flying by reference to altitude above mean sea level below the transition level;

Height. Altimeter pressure setting indicating height above airfield or touchdown (QFE) is set when approaching to land at airfield where this procedure is in use.

Types of Altimeter Setting Error

The pilot mishears the transmitted pressure setting and sets an incorrect figure.

The pilot hears the transmitted pressure setting correctly but fails to set it or mis-sets it.

The pilot fails to change the pressure setting at the appropriate point in a departure, climb, descent or approach.

Effects

Failure to set the appropriate pressure setting can result in deviation from the cleared altitude or flight level leading to level bust, loss of separation from other traffic, and even collision with other aircraft or with the ground (CFIT).

Loss of situational awareness due to failure to appreciate the significance of a pressure setting (especially QFE as opposed to QNH). This can result in incorrect appreciation of the closeness of the ground possibly leading to an unstabilised approach or collision with the ground (CFIT).

Defences

Effective SOPs contained in company flight operations manuals which specify appropriate procedures for the setting and cross-checking of altimeter barometric sub scales.

Strict adherence to the verification of pressure-altitude-derived level procedure by ATC. This should be done at least once by each suitably equipped ATC unit. The check is performed by comparing the level received from surveillance sources with a voice report by the pilot.

System support – the Transponder always transmits the level information as flight level, regardless of the pressure setting. The ground system then converts this information to altitude/height.

Pilot Errors

A pilot fails to ensure that standard pressure is set when passing the transition altitude in the climb, and levels the aircraft at a flight level which differs from the cleared level by an amount dependent on the difference between the QNH and 1013 hPa.

A pilot fails to set QNH when passing the transition level in the descent and levels the aircraft at an altitude which differs from the cleared altitude by an amount dependent on the difference between QNH and 1013 hPa.

A pilot un-used to landing with QFE set, does not remember that the altimeter now indicates height above airfield elevation or touch-down zone.

Solutions

The existence of appropriate SOPs for the setting and cross-checking of altimeter sub scales and their strict observance is the only universal primary solution to eliminate incorrect altimeter setting.

Use of the aircraft radio altimeter to monitor the aircraft proximity with the ground can help to improve situational awareness provided that the flight crew are generally familiar with the terrain over which they are flying;

GPWS/GPWS/TAWS provide a safety net against CFIT and, in the case of TAWS Class ‘A’ with its option of a simple terrain mapping display, it can also be used to directly improve routine situational awareness.

Radio-altimeter Callouts

Radio-altimeter callouts can be either:

Announced (verbalized) by the PNF or the Flight Engineer.

Automatically generated by a synthesized voice (e.g., smart callouts).

Callouts should be tailored to the operating policy of the Operator and to the type of approach.

To enhance the flight crew’s terrain awareness, a callout “Radio altimeter alive”, should be announced by the first crewmember observing the radio altimeter activation at 2500 ft height AGL.

The radio altimeter reading should then be included in the instrument scanning for the remainder of the approach.

Radio altimeter readings (i.e., feet’s AGL) below the Minimum Obstacle Clearance (MOC) values listed below, should alert the flight crew

Initial approach segment (i.e., from IAF to IF) : 1000 ft;

Intermediate approach segment (i.e., from IF to FAF): 500 ft.

Final approach segment (i.e., after FAF, for non-precision approaches with a defined FAF, until visual references or reaching MAP) : 250 ft.

Unless the airport features high close-in terrain, the radio-altimeter reading (i.e., height

AGL) should reasonably agree with the height above airfield elevation (i.e., height AFE),

Obtained by:

Direct reading of the altimeter, if using QFE; or,

By subtracting the airport elevation from the altitude reading, if using QNH.

Operational and Human Factors Involved in Altimeter-setting Errors

The incorrect setting of the altimeter reference often is the result of one or more of

the following factors:

High workload;

Deviation from normal task sharing.

Interruptions and distractions.

Absence of effective cross-check and backup between crewmembers.

The analysis of incident / accident reports identify the following operational and human factors as causes of or contributing factors to altimeter-setting errors.

Incomplete briefings (i.e., failure to discuss the applicable altimeter-setting unit and the country practice for fixed or variable transitions altitudes / levels);

Workload during descent / approach.

Distraction / interruption;

Language difficulties (unfamiliar accents, speaking pace, unclear contraction of words, mixed English / local language communications)

Failure to cross-check altimeter-setting information (e.g., ATIS versus TWR messages, PF / PNF cross-check).

Fatigue;

Confusion between altimeter-setting units (i.e., in.Hg or hPa);

Excessive number of instructions given by ATC in a single message.

Confusion between numbers such as 5 and 9 (i.e., if 9 is pronounced as nine

instead of niner); and/or, Incorrect listening associated with ineffective read back / hear back loop (.

Flight Operations Briefing Note on Effective Pilot / Controller Communications).

 

 

Prevention Strategies and Personal Lines-of-Defence

Adherence to the defined task sharing (for normal or abnormal / emergency conditions) and the use of normal checklists are the most effective lines-of-defences against altimeter-setting errors.

Altimeter-setting errors often result in a lack of vertical situational awareness;

The following key points should be considered by pilots to minimize altimeter-setting

errors and to optimize the setting of the barometric-altimeter MDA(H) / DA(H) or radio-altimeter DH:

Awareness of the altimeter setting unit in use at the destination airport.

Awareness of rapid QNH / QFE changes due to prevailing weather conditions (i.e., extreme cold or warm fronts, steep frontal surfaces, semi-permanent or seasonal low pressure areas).

Awareness of the anticipated altimeter setting, using two independent sources for cross-check (e.g., METAR and ATIS messages).

Effective PF/PNF crosscheck and backup.

Adherence to SOPs for Sterile-cockpit rule during taxi, take off and descent-approach phases;

Change of barometric-altimeters setting in climb and descent:-

  • In climb: at the transition altitude; and,
  • In descent: when approaching the transition level and when cleared to an altitude.
  • Use of standby-altimeter to cross-check main altimeters.

Altitude callouts (e.g., approach-fix crossing altitudes) including the radio-altimeter in the instrument scan, when the radio-altimeter is “alive” (i.e., below 2500 ft RA) radio-altimeter callouts.

Setting the barometric-altimeter MDA (H) or DA (H) or the radio-altimeter DH.

Exercising extra vigilance and cross-check if QFE is used for approach and landing.

The following prevention strategies should be considered by air traffic controllers:

Limiting the number of instructions transmitted in a given message.

Indicating all the numbers and the unit defining the altimeter setting.

Adhering to the standard phraseology and pronunciation.

Adopting the accepted terminology “Low” before a 28.XX in.Hg altimeter setting and

High” before a 30.XX in.Hg altimeter setting.

Surat Airport gearing up for holistic development with world-class facilities

 

Airports Authority of India (AAI) is extensively working towards the holistic development of the Surat Airport with a project cost of Rs 353 crore. The building will have five aerobridges.

New Delhi: Surat, the financial capital of Gujarat and hub for diamond and textile business in India attracts air travellers in large numbers from across the world and India. In fact, Surat Airport has witnessed one of the highest passenger traffic growth in the recent past. Surat Airport’s air traffic has grown around 600% from 2016-17 to 2018-19.

Considering the significant rise in passenger traffic in the last few years, Airports Authority of India (AAI) is extensively working towards the holistic development of the Surat Airport with a project cost of Rs 353 crore. This development project includes the extension of the existing terminal building from 8,474 sqm to 25,520 sqm.

Salient features of the developed terminal building:

Equipped with all modern passenger amenities, the developed terminal building will have 20 check-in counters.

The building will have five aerobridges, In-Line baggage handling system, five conveyor belts for arriving passengers

There will be car parking for 475 cars.

In addition to the extension of the current terminal building, the expansion of Apron from five parking bays to 23 Parking bays and construction of parallel taxi track (2,905 m X 30 m) work has also commenced. After completion of the project next year in December, the new state-of-the-art extended terminal building will be capable of handling 1,200 domestic and 600 international passengers’ during peak hours taking the annual passenger capacity to 2.6 million.

The modernized airport terminal will be 4-Star GRIHA rated energy-efficient building and the interiors will reflect the art and culture of Gujarat. The Foundation Stone for the extension of Terminal Building of Surat Airport was laid by Prime Minister Modi on 30th January 2019. The new world-class terminal building of the airport will give impetus to the growth of the region.

Worth mentioning that last year, the Cabinet gave its approval for the development of a new Greenfield Airport at Hirasar, Rajkot in Gujarat at an estimated cost of Rs 1,405 crore. The existing airport at Rajkot is severely land constrained having only 236 acres (approx.) of land and situated in the heart of the city. The government has already identified the  equired land for the new airport and has also requested Airports Authority of India to develop, operate and maintain the new airport.

 

 

Free Online Safety Management System (SMS)Training by Aviation Safety India

Dear Sir/Madam,

Greetings from Aviation Safety Management Society of India (ASMSI).

Aviation Safety Management Society of India is an All India Registered, Not for Profit Society dedicated for promotion of Aviation and Aviation Safety in the Country. ASMSI is fortunate to have a vast pool of highly accomplished Aviation Professionals of repute as its distinguished Members. ASMSI has been working relentlessly to enhance the Aviation Safety environments in the country through spread of knowledge and awareness.

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 some recent audits 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 commensurate with 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. on SMS as mandated by DGCA. Other employees of the Company obviously remain ignorant about the SMS in absence of any training.

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.

Safety Management System is not only essential for Aviation Industry but also equally important for all other enterprises. ASMSI will be happy to conduct free SMS training whoever wishes to benefit from this training across the country. Our mission is to spread the message of Safety to make India even Greater.

Kindly do not hesitate and feel free to avail this opportunity to get 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.

Please Remember that Knowledge and Awareness are Key to Safety.

Thanking you

With warm Regards

Air Commodore BS Siwach AVSM YSM VM (Veteran) -(9871251590)

Director General

Aviation Safety Management Society of India

New Delhi.www.aviationsafetyindia.com

AirAsia’s Problems Grow as India Minister Hints at Local Shutdown

AirAsia Group Bhd. is closing its affiliate operations in India, the local aviation minister said over the weekend, a comment his office later suggested was taken out of context. “AirAsia’s shop is anyway shutting down,” Hardeep Singh Puri said in televised comments that were widely circulated on social media. “Their parent company has problems.”

A spokesman for AirAsia India, which is majority owned by Indian conglomerate Tata Group, declined to comment. A spokesman for the civil aviation ministry said Puri’s comments were taken out of context and he had immediately clarified them.

AirAsia, once the poster child of a low-cost airline revolution in Asia, is seeking to raise as much as 2.5 billion ringgit ($600 million) by the end of the year as the coronavirus disrupts travel globally. The Subang, Malaysia-based budget carrier posted its biggest-ever quarterly loss in August and has said it is evaluating its operations in Japan. A Reuters report earlier this year flagged its Indian operations may also be under review.

AirAsia is closing its operations in Japan as it grapples with pandemic-related restrictions on global travel, local media reported last week. Chief Executive Officer Tony Fernandes later confirmed that exiting Japan is a possibility. AirAsia India started flying in 2014 with a promise to break even in four months. But it’s never made money in what is one of the world’s most difficult markets, where high fuel taxes and cut-throat fares often make operations unprofitable. The carrier, which has a market share of 6.8%, employs more than 3,000 people in the country.

Tata Sons is reviewing the joint venture with AirAsia, and is in talks to buy out the 49% stake the Malaysian firm holds in the Indian affiliate, the Times of India newspaper separately reported on Monday, citing an unnamed source. AirAsia isn’t keen on infusing more funds into the venture and instead wants it to take on debt, according to the report.

India’s aviation regulator suspended two senior executives at AirAsia India in August after a pilot claimed there were safety lapses at the airline. Indian officials are also investigating Fernandes and other officials for allegedly paying bribes to influence local policy.