Wednesday, July 03, 2019

7 close shaves in just 5 days, airline regulator DGCA plans audit of carriers

New Delhi:  A spate of close shaves — aircraft veering off runways or tail strikes — in the last few days has forced the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to plan an audit of those airlines. On Tuesday, the regulator also issued an advisory on monsoon operations, asking carriers to encourage pilots to go-round in cases of unstabilised approach and poor visibility to ensure safe landings.
Aviation secretary P S Kharola met airline CEOs on Tuesday evening after a rise in incidents in last four to five days. “They have been asked to take all measures to ensure these things don’t recur. We are keeping a very close watch,” Kharola said. Heads of airlines’ operations met DGCA officials led by DG Arun Kumar on Tuesday where they were issued the list of precautions to be taken for safe monsoon operations.
SpiceJet has seen at least three cases of planes veering off runways since last Saturday. Other airlines have also had their share in these incidents.
On Tuesday, a SpiceJet Pune-Kolkata flight veered off the wet runway at destination on landing in heavy rain. As a result, the Boeing 737 operating as SG-275 broke four runway lights.
"Pilots took corrective action to get the aircraft on center line. Four runway edge lights were inadvertently damaged. All passengers and crew safe," SpiceJet said in a statement.
On Monday night, a SpiceJet plane overshot the main runway at Mumbai airport on landing and is stuck there. A special team of Air India is working to remove the plane from there so that normal operations may resume at Mumbai.
Two aircraft had suffered tail strikes on landing in last three days. An Air India Express (AI-Ex) Boeing 737 bounced slightly on touch down at Calicut and then had a tail strike on Monday. And in the other case, a GoAir Airbus A320 suffered this on landing at Ranchi Sunday (June 30). Luckily, in both incidents no one on board was injured and the aircraft involved were also not damaged.
These twin tail strikes came after two incidents of aircraft veering off runway on Sunday after landing in heavy rain. A SpiceJet plane overshot the runway in Surat and an Air India Express veered off the taxiway in Mangalore. Luckily, in both cases everyone on board the two aircraft were safe.
03/07/19 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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