Monday, July 24, 2017

Spicejet mishap probe reveals pilot bungled

On March 8, 2015, a SpiceJet VT-SUA from Bengaluru veered toward the left side of the runway while landing at the Hubballi airport and overrun the runway's edge light. The aircraft with 78 passengers and four crew members was substantially damaged. Minister Roshan Baig too was onboard the aircraft. No one was injured in the mishap.

The three-member committee, constituted by the Ministry of Civil Aviation, to investigate the accident stated in its recent report that on the day of the accident weather condition was inclement.

In its report, it has noted the probable cause of the accident was due to the loss of visual clues after touchdown in inclement weather condition that resulted in the veering of the aircraft towards the left of the centerline leading to the runway excursion and accident.

The report stated that the pilot was informed by the ATC Hubballi about heavy rain and visibility of 4,000 mt at around 60 nautical miles from Hubballi.
At about 25 nautical miles short of Hubballi, the ATC again advised that the visibility has reduced to 3,000 mt.
The crew then decided to hold over Hubballi until the weather improved and after 20 minutes of holding up, the ATC informed the crew that visibility had improved to 4,000 mt in moderate rain.

"Subsequently, descent was requested by the PIC for runway 26. The ATC cleared VT-SUA for Non Directional Beacon (NDB) approach runway 26, however the PIC preferred to carry out VOR DME trial procedure for runway 26. The aircraft landed at Hubballi around 7.45 pm, and during the landing, the roll veered toward the left side of the runway and overrun the runway edge light followed by left landing gear collapse. Thereafter the aircraft exited the runway to its left side on Kutcha (unpaved ground) and came to a final stop around 52 mt away from the runway centre line," the report stated.

According to the report, the contributory factors for the crash were the inappropriate handling of the aircraft by the PIC who could not maintain directional control of the aircraft after landing and the non-standard callouts by the first officer to correct the situation after landing. The third reason was the impact of the landing gear on the non-frangible erected runway edge light, which resulted in the retraction of the landing gear.
24/07/17 Hemanth CS/Bangalore Mirror

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