Sunday, August 25, 2019

India yet to frame norms to check crashes due to high-tension cable wires

Mumbai: High-tension power supply wires and cable lines have been the bane of helicopter and small fixed-wing aircraft pilots world-wide, having caused hundreds of fatal accidents.
The Uttarkashi helicopter accident on Wednesday which killed three people is believed to have happened because of the power supply wires that went unnoticed by the pilots, till it was too late to recover the aircraft and fly over the obstacle. However unlike regulators in other countries, India is yet to formulate norms for state governments and power-supply companies, aimed at cutting down the number the wire-strike crashes, say industry experts.

"In other countries, like Australia, for instance, the rule is that any transmission company setting up cables, mostly in valleys, should put up markers. Our Directorate General of Civil Aviation doesn’t talk about it," said a senior helicopter pilot.

India has about 2.6 lakh circuit km of power transmission lines, apart from other wires and cables that cut across the path of low-flying aircraft and many of these, including those that run through valleys which are frequently used by helicopters, remain unmarked.
Capt Uday Gelli, western region president of Rotary Wing Society of India said: "We believe that installing aerial marker balls on high tension wires crisscrossing valleys in northern parts of India should be made mandatory." An aerial marker ball is a bright orange colored fibre glass ball, weighing about 20 kgs and about 2-3 feet in diameter, which is installed along the power supply lines to alert pilots about the obstacle in their flight path.
The U.S. Helicopter Safety Team found that approximately 16% of all rotary-wing accidents involve wire or obstacle strikes. US civil aviation regulator, the Federal Aviation Administration studied 124 wire-strike accidents involving civil helicopters between 1994 and 2004 and found that 86% of the fatal accidents occurred in clear weather with good visibility.A study by South African civil aviation authority following 117 wire-strike accidents between 1990 and 2008found that attempts to carry outemergency landing, failure to look out for wire due to distractions in the cockpit, poor visibility factors like low clouds, fog, sun contribute to such crashes.
25/08/19 Manju V/Times of India
To Read the News in full at Source, Click the Headline


Post a Comment