Thursday, February 25, 2016

AI aircraft bangs into pole, whodunit quest on

A serious miscommunication between two Air India pilots and the air traffic control led to a Boeing 777's wing reporting structural damage and a high mast apron light pole being uprooted after the aircraft took a wrong taxiway on Tuesday morning. However, with neither party taking responsibility for the mistake, the whodunit stakes are high.

The Newark bound aircraft with 447 passengers on Wednesday continued to be grounded and under repair at the Air India hangar. Officials, while still awaiting a real valuation of the damage, informed that an inspection had indicated the damage was structural in nature and its cost calculation was less than minimum deductable amount (as pre-agreed with the insurance company). Thus, they indicated that the aircraft insurance would not take care of the loss. As per ATC records, the aircraft had arrived from Ahmedabad, and was assigned stand K5 at T2 before it took off with passengers for Newark. As per the record, the pilot reported some object while taxing from Taxiway Yankee 1 to 3. While an initial ground inspection did not reveal anything, some high mast frangible lights were later reported broken. Upon parking at stand K5 the wing damage too was reported.

Airline officials blamed the ATC for the miscommunication. DGCA officials, however, observed that the pilots operating wide-body aircraft should be aware of the appropriate taxiing lanes.
25/02/16 Aditya Anand/Mumbai Mirror
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