Thursday, August 13, 2020

Kozhikode plane crash: Experts doubt transparency in Air India Express flight mishap probe

New Delhi: While the Civil Aviation Ministry has ordered an investigation by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) in the Air India Express plane mishap in Kozhikode, many aviation safety experts have raised questions on the move, suggesting that there could be a conflict of interest and non-transparency in the probe as it operates under the supervision of the ministry.
The AAIB is expected to submit its report on the Kozhikode accident by the end of this week. According to the experts, in the past, there was a deliberate effort on the part of the investigators to cover up serious violations of air regulations.

They have also demanded a Court of Inquiry (CoI) into the incident.

Aviation safety expert Captain Amit Singh said: “The fact that the AAIB reports to the MoCA is a conflict of interest.”

Pointing out flaws in a report by the AAIB, Singh said: “The same AAIB had carried out an investigation into the Ghatkopar accident. The probable cause of the accident was attributed to the flight crew. However, after a study of the report, I found several flaws in it that made me investigate the cause of the crash in greater detail... I have produced a 35-page technical analysis of the accident which conclusively proves that the probe was flawed and there was a deliberate effort on the part of the investigators to coverup serious violations of air regulations. The report contradicts itself in many areas and key evidence is misrepresented,” he said in his blog.
“The independent nature and credibility of the AAIB are under doubt. There are several other investigation reports which lack quality and standards,” he said, adding that he has written to the secretary of the MoCA, requesting him to order a re-investigation of the accident.

“There is a need to establish a safety culture and determine the root cause, not just fix the symptom,” Singh added.
13/08/20 Kumar Vikram/New Indian Express
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