Tuesday, April 03, 2018

IndiGo ATR Hyderabad tyre burst: 'Pilots may have landed with parking brakes engaged'

New Delhi:  Touching down with the main landing gear's hydraulic brakes reportedly engaged may have led to the tyres of an IndiGo ATR bursting in Hyderabad last Wednesday. The plane, which was flying in from Tirupati and had 72 passengers on board, had then remained stuck at the Hyderabad runway for several hours before it was removed.
A preliminary probe by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) has revealed that the pilots of the turboprop inadvertently engaged the plane’s hydraulic parking brake during flight. Unlike, say a car, where brake pedal needs to be pressed to slow down or stop it, engaging the ATR's hydraulic parking brake meant that oil pressure — for braking effect — was built up in the main landing gear.
“Without realising this, the landing gear was lowered. Once the ATR touched down, the main landing gear already had brakes on and its tyres could not rotate freely due to that. The friction led to heat and all four tyres burst,” said sources.
“While the probe is on, the initial study suggests a major lapse on the pilots’ part. Touching down at a high speed with brakes on of the main landing gear could have had serious consequences. Both the pilots were called for questioning,” said a source.
Asked to comment on this, an IndiGo spokesman said: “The matter has been reported by IndiGo to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). This will be investigated both by the flight safety department of IndiGo as well as the DGCA. It is not appropriate for us to comment any further while the investigation is progressing. At IndiGo safety of the passengers and crew is of utmost importance and can not be compromised with.”
03/04/18 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India