Indianpilots.forumotion.com

This website is the hub for all aviation related talks - airline buzz , new stuff , exam forms and results - its all in here!
 
HomeHome  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  RegisterRegister  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  Log in  

Share | 
 

 How safe is it to fly in India?

Go down 
AuthorMessage
gauravprakash007
Admin
avatar

Number of posts : 480
Age : 29
Location : Kuwait / Fort Lauderdale / Delhi / Mumbai
Registration date : 2007-05-23

PostSubject: How safe is it to fly in India?   Wed May 26, 2010 3:06 am

Saturday's crash raises the obvious question: How safe is it to fly in India? "After a crash, if the pilot is alive, nail him. If he is dead, blame him," goes a saying in our circles. The blame game has already begun even as vital safety deficiencies get swept aside.

* After the crash, the chairman of AAI went on record to say that the Mangalore runway and the airport met International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards. But the aiming point (the point where the undercarriage of the aircraft is supposed to touch down on the runway while landing) on the runway does not conform to ICAO standards. Also, if the overrun area had 90 metres of sand laid out as per ICAO specifications for the runway-end safety area, then isn't it strange that the aircraft did not slow down? Are all the other airports in India in a similar state of (un)preparedness for a possible accident?

* The Instrument Landing System was damaged during the overrun. Yet, the airport was kept open for commercial flights, using only the non-precision approach facilities, even after sunset. A non-precision approach is one where there is no electronic glide path to guide the pilot down a predetermined angle for landing. Was that a commercial decision or a safety decision?

Safety studies have established that more than 74% of approach and landing accidents have happened during non-precision approaches and in night conditions. Mangalore has just witnessed a fatal crash. The recent Air Afriqiyah Airbus 330 crash and the Polish president's flight crash in Russia, were at the end of a non-precision approach. The Kingfisher Airlines accident in Mumbai in December 2009 was also from a non-precision approach. Was it wise then to open the airport without the ILS and allow non-precision approaches?

* On August 2, 2005, an Air France Airbus 340 flight overshot the Toronto runway and went down the ravine. The terrain was similar to the Mangalore airport overrun area. The difference - all 307 survived the post-crash fire and were rescued. The 158 passengers in India were not so lucky with the rescue effort at Mangalore. Are all our airports capable of quick emergency response and rescue efforts? Areas surrounding the airports are all built up and there is no clear passage for crash tenders to access an aircraft in case of an accident during approach or during a take-off.

* Fatigue is another big factor in aviation accidents. We are still following an outdated circular issued in 1992 for pilot rest rules. A new, scientifically-backed Civil Aviation Requirement issued in 2007 was shot down by the ministry, mainly to accommodate airlines like Air India and Air India Express. The 1992 rest rules currently followed in India have many shortcomings. For instance: travel before a flight (as additional crew member) and after a flight were not accounted for in the 1992 circular. Extra-long-haul flights, like the direct Mumbai-New York flight, were not covered. The DGCA had to waive certain restrictions to permit these violations.

Scientific studies have shown that the performance levels and response times degrade with "time since awake". The AIE captain may have flown just 7 hours with a break at Dubai. However, he is not a machine to switch on and off during the break. His performance will degrade if he had been awake for more than 15 hours. Fatigue also causes "microsleep" which can occur for short duration of 5 to 10 seconds. Studies have identified that microsleep can occur during the approach and landing phase of the flight. Had India honoured the 2009 deadline set by ICAO for adopting scientifically-backed pilot rest rules, the Mangalore air crash may have not occurred.

* ICAO has published several annexes and documents to implement safety standards. In spite of being a signatory to the ICAO convention, we have several airports with incorrect runway markings and lack of proper landing aids. The compulsion to operate flights in spite of the lack of standard configuration can lead to accidents. Our system which is mired in corruption has managed 10 years without fatal airline crashes.
* The party was spoilt in Mangalore. If they do not address safety issues and learn from accidents worldwide, we may not see a happy monsoon. The dice has finally dropped against our safety system.

(Capt Ranganathan is an air safety expert with 20,000 hours of flying experience. He was part of DGCA's core group on approach and landing accident reduction. He has also compiled an adverse weather operations training kit for the DGCA)

_________________
It's always a good idea to keep the pointy end going forward as much as possible.
Back to top Go down
View user profile http://indianpilots.forumotion.net
 
How safe is it to fly in India?
Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» India to only send 'A' qualifiers to future World champs/Olympic Games
» epp foam super glue activator
» Indian Prime Minister to 'save' Commonwealth Games
» Where is the Gold!
» Alibrite as a cleaner

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Indianpilots.forumotion.com :: Aviation News-
Jump to: