‘Pilot`s disorientation, a factor in M`lore crash’

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 20:31

New Delhi: Disorientation and delayed
response by the pilot -- who reportedly dozed off -- and ignoring
his co-pilot`s warnings during landing may have led to the
Boeing air crash in Mangalore that killed 158 persons,
according to an inquiry report.

"Fatigue factor" could have led to the disorientation
and delayed response, said official sources privy to the
report, which is understood to have identified human error as
a factor for the crash on May 22 this year.

The inquiry report is being examined by the Civil
Aviation Ministry and would be made public soon, official
sources said on Wednesday.

The six-member Court of Inquiry headed by retired Air
Marshal BN Gokhale submitted its report to the ministry
yesterday.

The sources said the report is not likely to be tabled
in Parliament in the immediate future but could be put up on
the official website of the ministry.

Though the probe is understood to have pointed out
that Commander Captain Zlatko Glusica had not heeded to
repeated warnings given by his co-pilot Capt HS Ahluwalia for
taking "a go-around" and not landing, the sources discounted
reports about the Commander dozing off to sleep.

But, they said "fatigue factor" could have been one of
the causes of his disorientation and delayed response.

As soon as the plane touched down, Ahluwalia is
believed to have asked his Commander to pull all stops to
take-off again immediately.

But the response was slow and the Boeing 737-800
aircraft departed from the paved surface of the runway and hit
a localiser (radar) structure at the Runway End Safety Area.

The two-year old plane, which arrived from Dubai, then
broke through the boundary fence on the side and plunged into
a gorge, catching fire. Both Glusica and Ahluwalia were among
those killed.

The approach of the aircraft, while landing, was also
understood to have been wrong in terms of height and angle,
which led it to miss the `landing threshold` area of the
runway by almost 2,000 feet or 600 metres, they said.

Data retrieved from the cockpit voice recorder (CVR)
of the ill-fated Boeing 737 aircraft had shown that the
captain was on the wrong glide path and had delayed in
taking corrective measures despite being requested by his
co-pilot for "a go-around".

The probe panel is understood to have found that the
commander had approached for landing at an angle more than
three degrees which is the standard procedure, the sources
said, adding some anomalies were also found in his way of
taking corrective measures that could have averted the
accident.

The 2.05 minutes of CVR recording has indicated that
despite being warned by the aircraft computers to "pull up,
the captain had not paid any heed. He also ignored the
co-pilot telling him to go-around.

The last few seconds of the recording clearly says "we
don`t have runway left" after which the CVR has recorded the
loud crashing sound.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, November 17, 2010 - 20:31

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