Training of pilots to land in rains under the scanner after repeated overshoots
Between June 30, 2019, and July 2, 2019, as many as six civil airliners have had a narrow escape from what could have been major crashes at different airports across the nation. These incidents occurring within such a short duration have left the people alarmed and worried for safety. Out of the six incidents, four cases have been of aircraft overshooting the runway. No casualties, however, have been reported in any of these.
The first of this case occurred on June 30 when an Air India Express Boeing 737-800, Flight IX-384 drifted off the runway at Mangalore airport. Coming from Dubai, the aircraft came to a halt just further from the runway's end with its nose gear into a drainage ditch. While the aircraft suffered minor damage, over 180 people on board safely stepped out through the mobile stairs. The wet runway and over speeding have been reported as the cause.
The same day on June 30, Flight SG-3722, a SpiceJet De Havilland Dash 8-400 smaller aircraft considerably overran (about 270m) the runway at Surat and stopped on soft ground. While the aircraft again suffered minor damage, over 40 passengers flying from Bhopal were safely disembarked. The landing of this flight had taken place during the heavy downpour.
Out of the six incidents, four cases have been of aircraft overshooting the runway. No casualties, however, have been reported in any of these.
A GoAir Airbus A320 from Bengaluru had also experienced hard landing at Ranchi and suffered a tail strike.
The next day on July 1, an Air India Express Boeing 737-800, Flight IX-382 had a hard landing at the Kozhikode airport with its tail caressing against the runway before rolling on. The flight from Dammam in Saudi Arabia had around 180 people on board, none of whom was reported with any injury.
On July 1 itself, another SpiceJet aircraft flying from Jaipur overshot the runway, marking the most serious of the recent runway diversion cases. The SpiceJet Boeing 737-800, Flight SG-6237 skidded off the wet runway and overshot at the Mumbai International Airport. The incident also led to the closure of the airport's main runway, causing delay and diversions of around 100 flights.
SpiceJet had another blow on July 2 when SG-275 landed in Kolkata and veered off the runway again due to heavy rain. While the pilots took immediate action to get the aircraft centerline, four-runway edge lights were damaged without any injuries reported. The Boeing 737 flight was scheduled from Pune to Kolkata.
One of the major passenger aircraft crash in India that happened in Mangalore in 2010 of an Air India Express Flight was also the result of overshooting the runway and the recent incidents have rightly raised serious concerns of air safety for passengers especially during the rainy season. There have also been questions on the training provided to these pilots specifically for handling such wet weather and also regarding the tyres of the aircraft that skid in wet runways.
The first of this case occurred on June 30 when an Air India Express Boeing 737-800, Flight IX-384 drifted off the runway at Mangalore airport. Coming from Dubai, the aircraft came to a halt just further from the runway's end with its nose gear into a drainage ditch.
The aviation regulator of India, Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA) is probing these incidents and has issued safety directions to airlines. The regulator has strictly advised the airlines to instruct the pilots to avoid landing with an un-stabilized approach during unstable conditions. The airlines have also been directed to carry their own 'risk assessment' during adverse weather conditions and not compromise safety at any cost.
While the airlines have mostly refrained from speaking about these incidents, they continue to update about monsoon offers and sales on social media, much to people's surprise.
In the past
This year there was only one more such incident with passenger aircraft in April before these recently reported cases. On April 29, 2019, the SpiceJet Boeing 737-800 had overshot the runway at Shirdi by at least 50m with over 160 people aboard, all of whom were reported safe. The flight was going from Delhi to Shirdi.
Apart from this, in May this year, an Indian Air Force transport aircraft AN-32 had overshot the main runway while leaving from Mumbai International Airport for Yelahanka air force station near Bengaluru.
|June 30||Ranchi||GoAir Airbus A320||Hard landing|
|June 30||Mangalore||Air India Express
|Veered off the runway|
|Overshot the runway|
|July 1||Mumbai||SpiceJet Boeing 737||Overshooting|
|July 1||Kozhikode||Air India Express
|July 2||Kolkata||SpiceJet Boeing 737||Veered off the runway|