New Delhi: The report of the Air India Express plane crash in Kerala last August indicated the possibility of a medical factor regarding the pilot in charge, which could have played a role in the air disaster.
Twenty-one people, including the two pilots, were killed after the Air India Express Boeing 737 from Dubai carrying 190 people skidded off a runway in the pouring rain and shattered into pieces at the Kozhikode airport on August 8 last year.
The aviation accident report that happened more than a year after the accident has, among other factors such as landing beyond the safe touchdown zone despite a go-around call, mentioned that An anti-diabetic drug that the responsible pilot or captain had taken may have “caused subtle cognitive deficits”.
“The PIC was taking several non-prescribed anti-diabetic drugs that could have probably caused subtle cognitive deficits due to mild hypoglycemia,” said the final investigation report from the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
This “probably contributed to errors in complex decision-making as well as a susceptibility to misperception.” The possibility of visual illusions causing distance and depth perception errors cannot be excluded due to degradation of visual orientation cues due to poor visibility and suboptimal wiper performance. PIC ice in the rain, ”said the 267-page report which contains explanatory data and visuals of the crash debris as evidence.
In summary, the report indicates that the probable cause of the accident was the failure to follow standard operating procedures by the pilot flying the aircraft. “The probable cause of the accident was the failure to follow standard operating procedures by the pilot flying, in which, he continued an unstable approach and landed beyond the touchdown zone, at mid-point. the runway, despite a call for a go-around by the monitoring pilot, which justified a mandatory go-around and the pilot’s failure not to take control and to perform a go-around, ”the report indicates.
A “go-around” is when pilots decide to abort a landing before or after landing if they feel they may not be able to safely stop the aircraft. During a “go-around”, the airplane informs air traffic control of its decision to abort its intended landing before making a new approach to land at the same or another airport.
Air India Express IX-1344 flight from Dubai to Calicut was operating as part of the Vande Bharat mission to repatriate Indians stranded abroad due to coronavirus lockdowns. Air India Express, a wholly owned subsidiary of Air India, has only Boeing 737s in its fleet.
Kozhikode Airport has a tabletop runway, one of which sits atop a plateau or hill with one or both ends adjacent to a steep precipice that drops into a deep gorge.