Hasty Land­ing + Near Miss = Raised Eye­brows

Jet Air­ways flight’s high-speed land­ing bid & near miss with Vis­tara plane put lives at risk: Govt panel re­port

The Economic Times - - Front Page - Mi­hirMishra@ times­group.com

New Delhi: The pi­lots of a Del­hi­bound Jet Air­ways Boe­ing 737 in­volved in a “near miss” with a Vis­tara plane at Delhi air­port in April may have risked the lives of pas­sen­gers by try­ing to land at a speed that was too high, ac­cord­ing a gov­ern­ment com­mit­tee re­port. The land­ing was aborted, with the pi­lot opt­ing for a goaround and touch­ing down in a sub­se­quent at­tempt.

The speed of the plane 4.5 miles away from touch­down and at 2,000 feet was 310 knots com­pared with an ideal 250 knots at that dis­tance, said the Air­craft Ac­ci­dent In­ves­ti­ga­tion Bu­reau (AAIB) re­port, which was re­viewed by ET. The air­craft’s flaps couldn’t be opened due to the high speed, it said.

The in­ci­dent was re­ported on April 21, when Jet Air­ways flight 9W 597 sought to land at Indira Gandhi In­ter­na­tional Air­port. As a re­sult of the land­ing be­ing aborted, the dis­tance be­tween it and Vis­tara flight UK 811, which had been okayed for take­off, fell to less than 400 feet, trig­ger­ing a warn­ing in both cock­pits to main­tain a safe dis­tance.

There were 148 pas­sen­gers aboard the Vis­tara Air­bus A320 plane bound for Ben­galuru, while the Jet Air­ways Boe­ing 737 was ar­riv­ing from Muscat with 174 peo­ple. The pre­lim­i­nary re­port sub­mit­ted in June also blamed the air traf­fic con­troller (ATC) for not be­ing able to de­ter­mine that the Jet Air­ways plane wouldn’t be able to land this close to the run­way at such a speed.

The re­port, how­ever, said the Jet Air­ways pi­lots ig­nored con­cerns raised by the ATC over the high speed. The ATC asked them thrice whether they would be able to land at that speed. The com­man­der of the air­craft replied in the af­fir­ma­tive thrice but opted for a go-around af­ter the co-pi­lot warned the com­man­der that they would not be able to land be­cause the flaps couldn’t be opened.

The flaps can only be de­ployed when the speed drops to at least 250 knots.

The land­ing had to be aborted as the plane’s flaps couldn’t be opened due to high speed

The flaps can only be de­ployed when the speed drops to at least 250 knots. The last-minute go-around call brought the air­craft close to the Vis­tara flight, which was ready for take-off. Jet Air­ways said it was un­able to com­ment on an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion. “The car­rier will take ap­pro­pri­ate mea­sures... de­pend­ing on the find­ings of the re­port/in­ves­ti­ga­tion. At Jet Air­ways, safety of guests, crew and as­sets is of para­mount im­por­tance,” the air­line said in an email state­ment. AAIB has rec­om­mended cor­rec­tive train­ing for the pi­lots and air traf­fic con­trollers. Prac­ti­cal and the­o­ret­i­cal train­ing has been rec­om­mended for the pi­lots, and fo­cus on speed con­trol of air­craft for air traf­fic con­trollers.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from India

© PressReader. All rights reserved.