Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Co-pilot accidently triggered jet flight's plunge over Turkey

The co-pilot of a Jet Airways flight that plunged 2,251 feet over Turkey before correcting course last year "inadvertently manipulated" the controls, resulting in the incident, according to an inquiry by aviation regulator DGCA.
The Mumbai-Brussels flight, with 280 passengers aboard, suddenly lost altitude on August 8, 2014, when the 46-year-old co-pilot was in charge. The 40-year-old flight captain was sleeping as permitted under cockpit rules.
The Air Traffic Control in the Turkish capital of Ankara cautioned the co-pilot when the plane began to drop altitude, flying below 32,000 feet. Most passenger planes cruise at an altitude in the range of 30,000 feet to 40,000 feet, and the Jet flight was cleared to fly at 34,000 feet.
The aircraft, a Boeing 777-300 ER, had flown 4 hours and 43 minutes when the incident took place.
Initial reports after the incident had said that the plane plunged 5,000 feet, but investigations showed that it fell 2,251 feet before corrective measures were taken. The reports had also said that the co-pilot was busy using a tablet computer, called an electronic flight bag by airlines, but the DGCA report has no mention of it.
The final-investigation report by Sanjay Bramhane, DGCA's deputy director for air safety (western region), states that the flight started to lose altitude after the co-pilot accidentally changed controls while working on some other settings.
29/12/15 Aditya Anand/Mumbai Mirror
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