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Monthly Archives: January 2018

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Aircraft almost collide at airport, inquiry starts


New Delhi IGI Airport : A number of passengers had a narrow escape on Wednesday 24Jan 2018 when two SpiceJet and Aeroflot aircrafts, which had landed on adjacent runways at the Indira Gandhi International airport (IGI), stopped just meters short of colliding into each other. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has ordered an immediate inquiry into the incident.

According to sources at Air Traffic Control (ATC), SpiceJet’s Dubai-to-Delhi flight — SG 012 — landed on runway 29 and vacated the active runway by Taxiway Z6. It was instructed by the ATC to taxi via Taxiways CW2, S, R5 to its allocated parking stand A12L.”While taxiing on CW2, the crew was asked to halt before Taxiway S to give way to a Jet Airways flight,” says an officer who did not wish to be named.”Meanwhile, an Aeroflot flight landed on Runway 28 and was instructed by ATC to move via Taxiway N, S and CW1; the flight erroneously entered CW2.

The SpiceJet crew apprised ATC of the situation and ATC asked the Aeroflot craft to stop in time. It was then pushed back. When the coast was cleared, SpiceJet taxied to the allocated parking stand.”A SpiceJet spokesperson said that instructions from ATC were followed and that both aircrafts stopped at a safe distance from each other. “At no point was safety was compromised,” the airline said.

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Jet cockpit fight: DGCA suspends flying licence of both pilots for five years

New Delhi:  The two pilots who fought in the cockpit of a Jet Airways London-Mumbai flight of January 1 will no longer be able to operate as pilots for any airline for five years. In an unprecedented action, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended their flying licences for five years for endangering safety. The cockpit was left unmanned more than once during the fight when the co-pilot went out to bring back the lady commander who was sobbing in the galley and possibly afraid of going back to fly with him.

“DGCA has investigated the occurrence. Keeping in view serious safety lapses endangering the safety of aircraft operations, DGCA has suspended the privileges of license of the both the involved pilots for a period of five years,” DGCA chief B S Bhullar told.

The aircraft on which the fight was witnessed had 324 passenegers and 14 crew members.The regulatory action comes a fortnight after Jet sacked these two pilots. Now with the DGCA suspending their Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL) for five years, they cannot even get a job as pilots in any other airline.

Flight 9W 119 of January 1 was operated by two commanders. Jet’s senior most Boeing 777 commander was flying as co-pilot and his deputy was the commander of this flight. The “co-pilot” had allegedly slapped the lady commander and then the cockpit was left unmanned on two occasions when he went out to bring her back in. Soon after the incident was reported, the DGCA had suspended the co-pilot’s flying licence. Later Jet had sacked the pilots.

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Jet grounds two pilots for Bangkok tail strike

NEW DELHI: Jet Airways has grounded two pilots for a “tail strike” in Thailand last week. The incident reportedly happened when the airline’s Boeing 737 was taking off from Bangkok for Delhi with over 160 people on board.

During take off, the plane’s rear section of fuselage (main body of aircraft) hit the runway. Confirming this, a Jet spokesman said: “Jet flight 9W 65 of January 19, 2018, from Bangkok to Delhi experienced a tailstrike. The Boeing 737-800 with eight crew and 155 guests, landed safely at Delhi. The aircraft was inspected and cleared for operations by the Jet Airways’ engineering and safety team.” “The airline has reported the event to the regulatory authorities and is also investigating the matter. As a standard practice, the crew of the flight have been placed off active duty to assist with the investigations. At Jet Airways, safety of our guests and crew is of paramount importance,” he added.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is probing this incident. While tail strikes can happen for a number of reasons, human error, say experienced pilots, is the most common cause. Airlines globally stress on crew training as the most effective way of preventing this phenomenon. “Tail strike can led to significant damage to rear fuselage, repairing which is both expensive and prolonged exercise.

Tail strike during landing can lead to more damage than the same thing happening during take off,” said a senior airline pilot.

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Plane Battles Intense Storm To Make Dangerous Landing (Dusseldrof Airport, Germany)

Extreme winds left a trail of destruction in Germany and surrounding regions in the wake of Storm Friederike. Gusts of up to 120 km per hour wreaked havoc, briefly shutting down air and rail traffic in northern Europe. But at Dusseldorf Airport, a brave pilot attempted a dangerous landing during the stormy conditions on Thursday. The stomach-churning landing was caught on camera by a German plane spotter.

The small Eurowings passenger aircraft, that took off from Bologna in Italy, was trying to land at Germany’s Dusseldorf Airport when it was caught in the crosswinds caused by the storm. As it prepared to land, the plane tilted sideways several times with the powerful winds bending its wings. At one point, the plane was almost at a 90 degree angle with the runway. But the pilot successfully maneuvered through the bad weather and managed to land safely.

Plane-spotter Hans van den Hovel captured the terrifying landing on camera along with several other planes trying to land at the windy airport. The 9-minute video also features several other planes that chose not to land and simply did a touch-and-go. On YouTube, the plane enthusiast wrote that about 20 planes aborted the landing that day.

“Some pilots did a great job and landed the aircraft during these extreme conditions with spectacular and skilled handling,” he wrote.
Watch the frightening footage here:

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Air India Flight With 160 Aboard Suffers Bird Hit While Landing In Guwahati

The Delhi-Guwahati-Imphal flight was grounded Friday, 19 Jan 2018 and passengers travelling to Imphal were left stranded.

“Our AI flight was hit by a flying bird and airplane landed safely in Guwahati ” Mr Biren a passenger said.

An Air India spokesperson confirmed the incident and said the flight carrying 160 passengers was grounded for inspection by a team of engineers.

The bird hit occurred when the aircraft was on descend and wheels unfolded.

Flammable cargo may have caused Pawan Hans crash

NEW DELHI: Accident investigation agencies as well as Pawan Hans suspect that the recent accident may have been caused by some flammable material in the cargo that was being carried in the aircraft.

While Aircraft Accidents Investigation Bureau (AAIB) has asked Bureau of Civil Aviation Security (BCAS) to look into sabotage angle in the Pawan Hans chopper crash off Mumbai coast last week, the state-owned helicopter operator is working to ascertain the cargo that was being carried in the chopper.

“The reason behind the suspicion is the sudden decline in the altitude of the aircraft, which fell above 1100 feet in just six seconds, which is an indication that something happened to the aircraft suddenly,” said a government official, who did not want to be identified.

Another official said that another reason pointing towards this angle is the fact that the bodies of pilots were not distorted, when they were retrieved.

“In any helicopter incident, the body of the pilots are distorted but not of passengers. In this case, bodies of passengers were distorted, which indicates towards the fact that something happened in the passenger side, or the luggage that was being carried,” said another official.

Both officials did not want to be identified because the investigations are currently on. Pawan Hans is also working internally to ascertain the cargo that was being carried in the helicopter.


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IndiGo Airlines puts passenger going to Nagpur on Indore flight in a Security Gaffe

Category : News

IndiGo Airlines security gaffe, a man heading to Nagpur was put on a wrong flight. The passenger landed in Indore and had to be sent to his destination.

The airline has issued an apology and has started a probe into the matter. “IndiGo regrets the security breach intercepted by its security staff on flight 6E 774 (DEL-NAG), wherein a passenger of flight 6E 656 (DEL-IDR) wrongly boarded the flight 6E 774 and further travelled to Nagpur, after boarding the wrong coach,” a statement by the airlines mentioned.

An unnamed official mentioned that the passenger was given the correct boarding pass during check-in, but somehow when he boarded the wrong flight, none of IndiGo’s staffers noticed his pass, according to a report in the Indian Express.

The statement also mentioned that the security lead, second lead and skipper (security personnel) have been taken off roster till IndiGo’s internal enquiry is completed.


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ONGC Chopper Crash: Both engines intact, explosion ruled out

WITH BOTH engines of the Dauphin N3 helicopter that crashed off Mumbai Saturday now recovered intact, officials of Pawan Hans and the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) have ruled out the possibility of an engine explosion leading to the crash. The Dauphin is a medium weight multi-purpose twin-engine helicopter. On Monday, a three-member committee of the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) collected photographic evidence of the wreckage of the helicopter recovered from the sea. Officials said they were able to find most of the wreckage by Monday evening.

“More than 75 per cent of the required debris of the chopper have been recovered. The debris include the black box (cockpit voice recorder), both engines of the aircraft, its wings and some tail pieces. Both engines are intact, which rules out the possibility of a mid-air explosion. A proper investigation of the conversation between the pilots once the black box data is decoded will offer more clues,” said a senior Pawan Hans official.

The AAIB team collected photographic evidence of the chopper wreckage that will be analysed in New Delhi according to the aircraft investigation rules. They will also decode the conversation between pilots of the chopper and the passengers on board. “As the black box was submerged in water, it is possible that retrieval of information is difficult. They may send the box to OEM Services in France that offers logistics for aircraft manufacturers,” said a senior ONGC official.

Prime facie, investigations also show that the aircraft would have been at a height of almost 3,000 feet when it crashed. Without the rotor blades running, the chopper would have fallen like a stone from a great height on to a flat surface.  “As the chopper was also broken into pieces, chances are that parts of the chopper may have cut through the bodies of those on board, leaving them mutilated,” said a senior ONGC official.

“The AAIB team already camped in Mumbai is inquiring the accident of VT PWA. Team visited the site at MSV Samudra Sevak. Team obtained SSCVFDR (Black Box). It is premature to conclude the reasons for the accident as the investigation by AAIB is underway,” said an official statement from Pawan Hans.

Pawan Hans operates seven Dauphin N3 Helicopters for ONGC’s offshore operations. These helicopters are based at Juhu airport, Mumbai and Rajahmundry that undertake passenger crew change service and production trips on a regular basis to meet the offshore requirements of ONGC.

Coast Guard ship Samrat intimated that it had recovered aircraft parts such as the rotor blades, main gear box, the tail gear box, both engines, emergency locator transmitter from near ONGC vessel Samudra Sevak, said the Indian Coast Guard.

“The Coast Guard Dornier aircraft, flying from Daman, also continued to scan the area to search for any other debris / body parts. Coast Guard is maintaining high level coordination with ONGC in the operation and CG Ships and aircraft based at Mumbai and Daman respectively are being continuously deployed at the crash location,” said a release from the Coast Guard.

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Drone companies call for changes to government’s draft regulations.

Category : News

NEW DELHI: Drone startups — including Quidich Innovation Labs, Aarav Unmanned Systems, Asteria Aerospace and Indrones, among others — have come under body called Drone Federation of India, together to suggest changes to the government’s proposed draft regulations for drone companies in the country.

The members of the Federation, a first of its kind in India, are a mix of drone manufacturers, service providers and industry experts. “Our objective is industry advocacy, and to work alongside key government bodies like DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) to influence policy decision concerning drones in India,” said Vignesh Santhanam, President, Drone Federation of India and Head of Marketing at Quidich, which manufacturers drones for surveillance and security purposes.

After the draft on Drone regulations was out, it had received 100 comments which were in the process of being incorporated in the drone regulations.
The top three concerns of drone companies who are part of the association include :

  1. The proposed weight restriction of 2kgs and height restriction of 200 feet for drones used for various applications. As per the proposed set of regulations, there are a number of operational formalities to be fulfilled for using drones in excess of these criteria. A key demand is to raise the bar on weight to at least 4 kgs and height restriction to at least 400 feet.
  2. Drones should be allowed for modern applications, however, for a number of commercial applications, it is not possible to fly drones below 200 feet. Almost in all other countries, which have framed regulations for drones, drones are allowed to fly upto 400 feet for commercial applications. There are several safety concerns with drones under 200 feet,” said Yeshwanth Reddy, cofounder of Aarav Unmanned Vehicles (AUS)
  3. Drone startups are seeking clarity on how to go about registration of drones and making the entire process of seeking permission for flying drones for certain projects much faster. “They have mentioned that we need to take ATC (Air Traffic Control) approval, however, there is no clarity on how to go about the registration of drones since every drone needs to have a Unique Identification Number. Also, the government is yet to mention how to go procure tagging since every drone in operation has to go procure tagging since every drone in operation has to be tagged,” said Karthik R, chief technology officer at Chennai-based DeTect Technologies.

    Among other key demands, drone companies have demanded for faster approvals and allocation of more testing sites to foster indigenous drone manufacturing and R&D.

    Companies have to go through a long process seeking approvals for every project, stipulating height for the flight of drones, flight path and time for which they will be flying.

    “We can’t wait for a month or two to get permission for every single project since the lead time for these projects is too long. The whole idea of using drones is to cut down the time on certain operations and make the process as seamless as possible. The long time to approvals defeats the purpose,” said Gaurav Mehta COO at Quidich Innovation Labs

Helicopter crash off Mumbai kills senior ONGC officials

Mumbai: A Pawan Hans helicopter, with two pilots and five ONGC deputy general managers on board, crashed in the Arabian Sea about 55km northwest of Juhu airport on Saturday morning. The chopper was on its way to a production platform complex in Bombay High when tragedy struck.

The Coast Guard and the Navy have recovered six bodies along with some wreckage and life jackets. The body of Pankaj Garg was identified based on his ONGC identity card. The bodies of his colleagues V K Bindu Lal Babu, Jose Antony and P N Sreenivasan were identified by their families. The relatives of the others are in Nanavati Hospital trying to identify the bodies with the help of personal belongings like rings and other jewellery.

The Dauphin AS 365 N3 twin-engine helicopter took off from Juhu at 10.14am for a production platform complex about 93km offshore. At 10.26am, the pilot radio-communicated with the Juhu air traffic control and, as per procedure, changed the communication frequency to establish contact with the ONGC air control room. According to ONGC, the last contact with the helicopter was at 10.33am. “Thereafter, the helicopter was incommunicado. The ONGC control began contacting helipads in the vicinity to check if it had landed elsewhere,” an official said. It is believed the pilots had decided to return to Juhu for reasons unknown.

At 11.20am, ONGC alerted the Coast Guard, which immediately deployed a Dornier aircraft. Within an hour, the aircraft found debris at the crash site. Thereafter, a Coast Guard ship patrolling off Mumbai was diverted to the site and the first body was spotted around 2.30pm. Four more bodies were recovered by 6pm. The sixth body was recovered late around 8.30pm. The first helicopter that brought in the bodies landed at the Juhu airport at 6.29pm. But since Juhu airport has no night landing facility it was shut down at 6.40pm. The second helicopter landed at the busy Mumbai airport at 6.51pm.

A team from the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau is expected to reach Mumbai from Delhi on Sunday to probe the accident.

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