Monday, September 13, 2021

AAIB stresses on safety, lists out 45 recommendations

Kozhikode: After finding non-adherence to SOP by flight commander as a probable cause for the Air India Express (AIE) flight crash at Calicut airport on Aug 7, 2020 and red flagging several systemic failures as contributory factors, Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) made 45 safety recommendations covering all stakeholders–AIE, Airports Authority of India (AAI), DGCA, IMD and AAIB itself.Key recommendations include call to use extensive use of simulator training by AIE, proper maintenance of Runway End Safety Area (RESA), widening of airport perimeter road to facilitate quick movement of emergency vehicles, asking DGCA to study feasibility and efficacy of Child Restraint System for safety of infants and children on board aircraft, among many others.

Among the recommendations, the panel has recommended AIE to put in place extensive simulator training to promote assertiveness of the first officer to take over control and initiate a go-around on an unstabilized approach when the commander fails to respond and covering scenarios involving tailwind landing on wet runways.

Also, to address the steep authority gradient in the cockpit which preventing the first officer from being assertive enough to take charge in the cockpit (when required to do so), the report stressed on focusing CRM (Crew Resource Management) training including the trans-cockpit authority gradient and assess the responses of captain and first officer as a team.

It also suggested changes in HR management by AIE to ensure better availability of crew, especially captains at all bases considering the quantum of flights originating from respective bases. It was found that the captain, who was earlier on standby duty for Qatar flight on August 8, 2020, was assigned to operate this flight. The report says that this last-minute assignment put additional pressure on the captain to land at Kozhikode in time on August 7.

Regarding AAI, the panel recommended that training programmes for ATC staff should focus on the impact of tailwind conditions in adverse weather and precautions required while deciding the change of runway in adverse weather.

It also asked AAI to ensure proper maintenance of the soft ground portion of RESA as it offers crucial defense in case of runway excursion. Vegetation growth was observed in RESA soft ground area as it was not ploughed regularly.

13/09/21 Times of India

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