The two pilots flying Air India Express Boeing 737 were rescued dead an hour after the plane crashed in Kerala’s Kozhikode when the airport’s firefighting and rescue team (ARFF) was unfamiliar with the plane, according to an investigation. .
The pilots, whose mistake has been guilty from the accident, and 19 other people were killed when the aircraft collided with a gorge after a runway was invaded on August 7, 2020. The aircraft was returning from Dubai and carrying 184 passengers.
The investigation report of the August 7, 2020 accident was released by the Director General of the Aircraft Accident Investigation Office, Aurobindo Handa, on Saturday. He has recommended to the airline and the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to improve their training and suggested better maintenance of simulators and end-of-runway safety areas at airports to prevent further accidents.
“The ARRF crew at Kozhikode were unfamiliar with the type of aircraft that resulted in poorly coordinated rescue operations and a delayed evacuation of pilots from the cockpit,” the investigation report noted. The pilot-in-command was removed from the cockpit by a CISF inspector while the co-pilot was removed by an unknown person and ARRF personnel were not present during the pilots’ rescue, he said.
The investigation team recommended that the AAI should ensure that aircraft familiarization training is provided to the entire ARRF crew within a defined schedule, in addition to periodic training based on existing requirements.
He has also suggested better upkeep and maintenance of the runway end safety area, which can help stop an aircraft’s speed in the event of an overshoot.
While the investigation concluded that the captain made a destabilized approach and ignored the copilot’s call to turn, it also pointed the finger at Air India Express management for their lack of oversight in training, operations, and flight practices. security. This, he said, has resulted in repeated human error accidents.
He has asked the airline to improve his training, especially for landing on a wet runway in tailwind conditions, and to promote the assertiveness of the first officer to take control and start a lap in case the captain does not respond.
The civil aviation regulator has been asked to review its regulations on flight data monitoring and introduce periodic surveillance of flights at critical and table airports, including ‘red-eye’ flights.
It has also suggested to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation that it study the feasibility of a child restraint system for the safety of children and babies on board an aircraft. Of the ten babies aboard the Air India Express plane, three suffered fatal injuries, three sustained serious injuries and four escaped unharmed, the report noted.
The report has called for the installation of an approach radar. “Kozhikode Airport is among the ten busiest airports in India, it has mountainous terrain and experiences prolonged adverse weather conditions. Therefore, it is recommended for a better orientation to the approach radar of the aircraft that is installed at the airport ”, he said.