Saturday, August 20, 2016

‘Communication failure likely cause of engineer death’

Mumbai: The civil aviation ministry’s Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB), which is probing the death of an Air India (AI) engineer who was sucked into an aircraft engine in Mumbai last year, said in its initial findings that a miscommunication, probably caused by the aircraft’s pilot who was exhausted due to continuous assignments, could have led to the fatal accident.
The probe is still underway but one of the sources said, “After examining circumstances related to the incident, it was found that the pilot of the aircraft was operating the said flight immediately after having flown in another flight. Thus, the pilot was tired and there are chances that due to the same, some miscommunication occurred and the technician, Ravi Subramanian, got sucked into the engine of the Mumbai-Hyderabad flight AI 619 and died instantly.” Following the death of Mr Subramaniam, an investigation was ordered and the pilot and co-pilot of the aircraft were grounded by the airline. The source said that the investigation team realised that there should be at least mandatory half-an-hour rest for pilots and co-pilots after an assignment.
“After flying in and before flying out again, a half-an-hour gap should be a must,” said the AAIB source. He said that AAIB may also recommend to the airline that it “cross-utilise crew” while flying different types of aircraft the same day. “The airline should work in the direction of cross utilisation of crew for the airbus A320 family when the crew is going to fly two aircraft in a day, in order to avoid confusion between them,” he added.
Sources in the bureau said they were working on the recommendations and would soon forward the draft to authorities concerned.
20/08/16 Ashita Dadheech/Asian Age
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