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Air India Runway Excursion

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Air India Runway Excursion

Old 10th Aug 2020, 00:42
  #141 (permalink)  
 
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topgunmaverick - with your two posts, you've highlighted one serious problem with Indian aviation!

If the previous flight had SIX attempts at landing, then it shows a huge failing in the system as well as a chronic lack of appreciation of current safety recommendations by all participants, and goes a long way to explaining the continuing appalling flight safety in that region.

It is well known that as crews attempt ever more approaches, the inherent human failings of frustration, pride, 'get-there-itis' and fear of employer-rebuke start to come into play. That's why every operator I've worked for in the last 15 to 20 years has mandated that after a second landing attempt, it is either an immediate diversion, or delay until there is NO doubt whatsoever as to the success of any third attempt.

In any case, more than three attempts were forbidden. Why, you might ask? The accident statistics have shown that the risk of something going very badly wrong increases dramatically after two attempts.

So, the Indian regulator (a disgusting cesspit of nepotism and cronyism that should instead be expending its limited abilities in encouraging or mandating that operators include such restrictions in the OM), the operators (for the most part money-hungry and unwilling to acknowledge that safety comes at a cost) and the pilots (who should know better, but to this day suffer from the clash between best-practise and outdated class / rank / age distinctions, as well as unjustifiable perception of greatness from some older left seat occupants) are all remiss.

As for the 1000m + float down the runway...in the conditions on the night, it is such a disgraceful example of pilotage that it needs to be treated with the contempt it deserves! Hero pilot? My 4rse!! How many fatal overruns does it take to convince these supposed 'top gun' pilots that the performance numbers don't lie. This captain was a class dux, a test pilot, had a great reputation. Yet on the night, it appears that he couldn't master the basics of landing in the TDZ (preferably on the aiming point) or, failing to have done that, to have made the timely decision to go around! Unbelievable.

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Old 10th Aug 2020, 00:57
  #142 (permalink)  
 
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Sadly, except for the brick wall that the cockpit hit, the pilots might have survived.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 03:18
  #143 (permalink)  
 
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And except for the hill at the end of the runway everyone might have survived
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 03:24
  #144 (permalink)  
 
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The crash site photographs show speed brakes retracted.
This is starting to look more like an attempted go around..
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 04:18
  #145 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by pineteam View Post
I asked a friend of mine who's flying the 737-800 to do the landing computation at the exact same weather condition and runway as I did on A320 CEO with Sharklets. For standard condition and a weight of 60T the VAPP on 737 is 138kt versus 135kt on A320. The landing distance with manual braking is 1207 meters versus 1153 meters on A320. So unless I'm missing something the 737 is slightly more prone to overrun the runway than an A320.
You are correct. B737 800 is a stretched aircraft and to avoid tail strike on To and landing the speeds are higher than previous models. On MAX to fit bigger engines it even went to ridiculous length to raise the nose wheel by 9 inches and fitting engines further forward and upward shifting the thrust line. On MAX 900 that was also not enough so on takeoff run the main wheel extends during rotation. It's highly compromised aircraft to meet certification. In India all overruns are on B737.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 05:31
  #146 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by TopGunMaverick View Post
A previous flight 6E7129 took six attempts before landing as per FR24 few hours before unfateful event. Definitely the conditions were hostile.
Top Gun , I suggest you stick to your F-15 or MSFS before posting such mis-information specially in light of what happened . Please go back to the playback of FR24 on 6E7129(ATR VOBL-VOCL) 07/08/2020 and watch the altitude and profile , they made a few holds/course reversals and did 2 approaches( including the successful landing) .

For those questioning the regulator/airlines on number of approach policies before a mandatory diversion , due to a fog related incident at an airline a few years ago, the regulator did come with guidance and I know the airline I worked at changed our OM policy to maximum 2 approaches/ go-arounds due to meteorological reasons before a mandatory diversion. I would expect AI/AIE to have something similar .
I'm waiting for something official from the investigators than depending on some photos/passenger reports to make an assessment of contributing factors , causal factors and recommendations and make my own lessons learnt so that it doesn't happen again .

Last edited by masalama; 10th Aug 2020 at 05:32. Reason: grammar
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 09:19
  #147 (permalink)  
 
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I continue to be amazed that there is little attention or monitoring given to the fact that a large proportion of 737 pilots seem to chase the VApp bug after the threshold, even to the extent of adding thrust in the flare! - Instead of TLs closed and flaring to an attitude, touching down at~Vref.

This mishandling leads to long landings and high touch down speeds.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 10:10
  #148 (permalink)  
 
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I think you are correct. I have had colleagues calling "speed" when the speed goes between Vref+5 and Vref.
I even had an instructor write up on a line check that I had allowed the FO to fly at Vref-5 when he meant Vref+5 minus 5!
In other words, not calling him out for applying the FCTM technique.

Not saying this applies here. Just sayin.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 11:24
  #149 (permalink)  
 
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I think you can probably guarantee the aircraft was not at the correct speed. Iíve not flown the 737 for a bit, but I remember if you let the speed get below Vref in the flare, it would get on the back of the drag curve and crunch into the deck. This is why pilots would often fly (and justify flying) well above the command speed. Even worse, when increments were added to the command speed to account for the gust factor, they would fly well above that command speed. Throw in a long landing, wet runway and maybe a glitch with the spoilers or a reverser, then such pilots could find themselves in deep trouble.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 11:48
  #150 (permalink)  
 
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So I am a little confused. The opinion is that the crew had configured for a go around, boards are stowed, throttles forward and flaps 1 in the detent. At what point would this decision have been made I wonder? I mean surely not at 40 kts with the aircraft about to falloff the end of the runway? Yet the final resting place of the aircraft would suggest what ever forward momentum it had was effectively used up in the slide down the hill and the abrupt stop when it reached the pavement. The impact of course caused the forward fuselage section to buckle upwards and break off before sliding into the nearby wall. But none of this suggests the aircraft 'flew' off the end under T/O power as you might imagine say a failed launch off an aircraft carrier. If that had been the case, then the impact would have been some distance further on and of course casualties would have been much higher if not a complete disaster. Instead, this aircraft seems to have literally flopped off the end. I might hazard a guess that it wasn't the wall that caused the crew casualties but rather the impact with the pavement after the slide down the hill.


Just cant imagine the circumstances for all this to happen. How long does it take to spool up, how long does it take for the flaps to come up from 30 or 40 to 1 ? How close to the runway end do you have to be before you say, nah let's give this away. Or put another way, if you fall off the end at 40 kts or so, when did you make your go around decision with a 13 kt tail wind? I mean surely, before you commit to take the aircraft back into the air again, you have to have assessed there is a better that even chance the aircraft will in fact get airborne in the what's left of the runway?


The flap handle was in the flap 1 detent and this is what flap 1 looks like on a B737-800 as far as I can ascertain:




But this what the flaps looked like on the accident aircraft where you can see the flaps appear to be extended much further. Note the trailing flap devices and how their hinges are visible whereas in the image above these cant be seen. So what does this suggest? Someone has played with flap lever perhaps as part of removing the crew? Or, were the flaps still travelling as the aircraft plunged off the end? In which case this go around must have been desperate affair.

I imagine the near destruction of the engines on the slide down the slope and possibly the lights going out gave rise to the reports of 'heroic' actions by the pilot in turning off the engines.


EDIT: Subsequent imagery makes it very clear the the flap lever is in the 40 deg detent.

Last edited by Lord Farringdon; 10th Aug 2020 at 21:45. Reason: Edit based on new imagery.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 12:51
  #151 (permalink)  
 
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Start levers in IDLE contradict that supposed ‘heroic’ last-seconds engine shutdown.

Normal go-around flap setting would be flaps 15, but the flap lever seems further aft.

Speed brakes not extended (and speed brake lever stowed) definitely could be a major contributing factor in the overrun!
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 13:07
  #152 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by vilas View Post
You are correct. B737 800 is a stretched aircraft and to avoid tail strike on To and landing the speeds are higher than previous models. On MAX to fit bigger engines it even went to ridiculous length to raise the nose wheel by 9 inches and fitting engines further forward and upward shifting the thrust line. On MAX 900 that was also not enough so on takeoff run the main wheel extends during rotation. It's highly compromised aircraft to meet certification. In India all overruns are on B737.
Biggest load of garbage I've ever heard
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 14:06
  #153 (permalink)  
 
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Even worse, when increments were added to the command speed to account for the gust factor, they would fly well above that command speed. Throw in a long landing, wet runway and maybe a glitch with the spoilers or a reverser, then such pilots could find themselves in deep trouble.
Exactly what I was thinking.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 14:16
  #154 (permalink)  
 
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Calicut RWY 10 Disaster

I am an expat pilot and TRI and previously worked for AIX.. in the early days of their operation, and actually was based in Calicut from 2003-2005 before moving to the Gulf from where i continued to visit the field on a regular basis untill as recently as March 2020.

Over the years the approach to RWY 10 has always been "problematic" because of its visual and environmental "characteristics". In the early days it was a visual approach only. Then they put a VOR approach, then with in the last few years because of the Indian Airports "modernization" the upgraded to an ILS RW10 approach. However the Approach minimums though lower. Have been off set by the fact that the Landing distance beyond the glideslope is less. Also the visual appearance on breakout gives the appearance of a twisted runway. And following the Glideslope to touchdown puts you 1000 Meters beyond the touchdown point. Which on a dry day with Autobrake 3 or max braking takes you to the end!!

The ATC facility at the Airfield either do not know or haven't received proper training on how to use the radar. And either are not willing to or for some unexplained reason cant give proper assistance to pilots during times of Monsoonal weather in the area.They relay on Cochin approach to give the clearance to intercept the final track inbound then contact Calicut for the approach clearance for the approach to Rwy 10. Both the approach to RWY 28 and RW 10 start from over the CLC VOR. Where 90% of the weather always is. As clearly this was the situation on that night.

In September last year(2019) the Indian DGCA put out a notice that "When the Runway Visibility is less that 2000 metres that the runway will be closed for landings. However pilots can land at their Risk. So why didnt the Calicut ATC close the airport?
I personally have eaten alot of fire form my previous company for diverting to Cochin and TRV. because i in my judgment i felt that the attempt to land on RWY10 after considering the above mentioned issues with that runway in exactly the same weather was not worth it!.
I hope that the Minister of Transport and the Dir General of DGCA will make the necessary changes to reduce the risks for Indian passengers and crews!
This is a Sad Sad day for Indian Aviation!
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 15:02
  #155 (permalink)  
 
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The main problem with RW10 is tailwind landing in wet conditions. All things being what they are if the airline had forbidden tailwind landing on RW10 this accident would not have happened.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 15:05
  #156 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Stick Flying View Post
Biggest load of garbage I've ever heard
It appears you are not fond of reading.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 15:13
  #157 (permalink)  
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Re position of the throttles - anything is possible here as to why pedestal controls are in the position they are - it is possible that the separate of fuselage sections pulled the cables sufficiently to change throttle positions...
Originally Posted by Lord Farringdon View Post
. . . .
I imagine the near destruction of the engines on the slide down the slope...
I don't think the aircraft "slid down the slope". There are no tell-tale tracks/ground damage* until much further down the slope. I think the aircraft "launched", not by much but enough to clear most of the slope in an arcing path until the tail hit pitching the nose down near/at the bottom of the slope.

Very sad, especially given the sense of deja-vu. A groundspeed of 176kts just prior to touchdown is significant no matter what wx conditions or runway contamination existed.

*there are two small indentations in what appears to be a "hedge-shaped" wall about half way down the slope - possible fuselage/left engine contact - hard to say.

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Old 10th Aug 2020, 15:14
  #158 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Stick Flying View Post
Biggest load of garbage I've ever heard
​​​​​​​And this is not all. After th MAX fiasco had you kept yourself updated you wouldn't have made the ignorant comment.
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 15:30
  #159 (permalink)  
 
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Good informative video, but your negative personal comments diminish the technical messages
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Old 10th Aug 2020, 16:03
  #160 (permalink)  
 
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This guy has never seen a 737 upclose. "Boeing reduced the amount of flaps you can use for landing and takeoff when the 737 was stretched" Flaps 40 has been there since day 1 and unlike the 737-300/400/500, which can use 1 (not -400), 5 and 15 for takeoff, NG and MAX can also use 25.

A320, which is a much newer design that the 737, also proves very well that there's no problem having only four main gear wheels on a narrowbody aircraft even with much higher MTOWs than 737-800.
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