Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Air India grounds 2 pilots over runway incursion

Air India has grounded two pilots whose aircraft entered the active runway of Mumbai airport on Monday while it was taxiing to the end of the airstrip for take-off. Due to the inadvertent runway incursion, an incoming flight that was about of touch down had to do a last-minute go-around. The go-around was safe and the AI aircraft took off to its destination, with the crew being grounded after operating the return flight to Mumbai.
“The pilots have been grounded pending investigation, which will determine why the runway incursion took place. Did air traffic control give instructions correctly and our pilots misunderstood them? Or were the ATC instructions not clear? Only a probe will determine whose fault it was,” said a senior AI official.
The scare happened around 2.30pm when the AI669 was taxiing to take off to Bhubaneswar. Sources said the Airbus A320 aircraft was to reach the take-off point of the runway from T2 by crossing the airport’s main runway. It had to take a series of turns on taxiways to do that. But it instead entered the active runway due to a wrong turn.
Mumbai’s CSMIA has two cross runways due to which only one can be used at a time. With the AI plane on the runway, sources said alert air traffic controllers told the crew of a flight that was on final approach to land on that airstrip. The incoming flight had to do a take-off, go-around. Pilots are trained to handle such situations and the crew of the incoming flight also did so safely.
“The AI flight a few minutes later took off for Bhubaneswar. The crew was grounded pending inquiry when it returned to CSIA after operating the return flight. We will determine who was at fault and act accordingly,” said the AI official.
18/09/19 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India

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