Friday, April 29, 2011

Human factors to blame for fatal crash of Air India Express flight from Dubai

Article from Arabian Aerospace published 26 April

An inquiry into the The Air India Express IX812 accident at Mangalore airport on May 22 2010 has identified a number of human factors causes. Only eight of the 166 people on board survived.

The Flight-data recorder shows the aircraft crossed the runway threshold at 200ft rather than at the prescribed 50 feet and much faster. As a result it didn’t touch down until 1600 metres along the runway leaving just 860 metres, which meant it overran the runway. The aircraft's right wing collided with an antenna and the aircraft dropped off the edge of a steep gorge.

Investigators say that cockpit voice recordings recorded typical breathing patterns of deep sleep from the Captain, lasting for 1h 28min, until just 21min before the accident. These recording indicated that the captain slept for at least 1h 40min.

During preparations for landing the co-pilot suggested three times that they should "go-around," which was ignored by the captain, and then erroneously confirmed the aircraft was on the correct approach following pressure by the captain to do so.

A contributing factor was that the airport radar was not working and so the landing was conducted on instruments only.

Report suggest that the captain and co-pilot had fallen out several weeks before the accident. This may be why co-pilot did not wake the captain earlier in the flight and contributed to poor communication between the pair. Also, that "prolonged sleep by the captain, particularly during the overnight circadian low period, could have led to sleep inertia and possibly impaired judgement over the approach shortly after he woke."

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