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Court of Inquiry into Mangalore crash to be set up next week

A Court of Inquiry into the Mangalore air crash that claimed 158 lives is likely to be set up next week, highly-placed sources said today.

New Delhi: A Court of Inquiry into the
Mangalore air crash that claimed 158 lives is likely to be set
up next week, highly-placed sources said today.

"The Court of Inquiry is likely to be set up any time
next week," the sources said, adding that the legalities of
its constitution, including whether it would be headed by a
serving or former High Court judge, have been studied.

However, a prominent person with knowledge of the
aviation sector, apart from a judge, can also be appointed as
the head of such an inquest panel as per the provisions of the
law. But the sources maintained that, so far, most of such
Courts have been headed by judges.

The Court would be assisted by two assessors having
aviation background, they said, adding that one of them could
be from engineering and the other from operations so that all
aspects of Saturday`s crash could be inquired into.
Almost all the material evidences collected from the
crash site have been taken over by the Inspector of Accidents,
appointed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation a day
after the crash.

These would be handed over to the Court of Inquiry,
once it takes over charge.

The sources said the issue of whether to start
decoding the Flight Data Recorder or Black Box, the Cockpit
Voice Recorder and the Digital Flight Data Acquisition Unit,
is likely to be decided after the Court is set up.

Several theories relating to the crash like the plane
took an "incorrect" flight path or missed the touchdown point
or a brake failure occurred, pilots` fatigue or a judgemental
error by the pilots have been given out as prima facie reasons
by technical experts, but all of them said the final report of
the probe should be awaited.

The Boeing 737-800 of the Air India Express had
overshot the Bajpe Airport runway on May 22 and its 90 metre
long spillover area, plunged into a ravine and burst into
flames claiming 158 lives.

Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel and top officials
have already said the runway was operationally compliant and
technically fit for flying a Boeing 737-800, the plane was two
years old with no history of defects and both the pilots, Capt
Zlatko Glusica and Capt S S Ahluwalia, were very experienced
and had carried out a large number of take-offs and landings
in Mangalore.


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