Probe panel confirms pilot error caused M'lore crash

Captain was on the wrong flight path, says report

Probe panel  confirms pilot error caused M'lore crash

The final report of the inquiry committee which probed the incident says that the flight commander of the ill-fated Air Indian Express, which crashed on May 22,2010, ignored the warnings of his co-pilot. The panel submitted its report to the Civil Aviation Ministry  on Tuesday.

The Air India Express IC 812 Boeing 737-800 carrying 166 people, including the crew, from Dubai crashed while negotiating the tricky landing at Mangalore’s “table-top” airport overlooking a ravine. It burst into flames after overshooting a table-top runway and plunged into a nearby forest.

The inquiry found that the pilot Captain Zlatko Glusica, slept for over 90 minutes during the flight. The report is said to have quoted the American National Transportation Safety Board saying it was the first instance of snoring recorded on a Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR).

Glusica did not heed the warnings given by  co-pilot Capt H S Ahluwalia for taking “a go-around” and not to land, official sources said. Sources also said the pilot realised too late that the plane was at a higher altitude than the flight path.

In the CVR, co-pilot Captain HS Ahluwalia is heard telling Captain Glusica thrice to go around as the plane could not land. The sources also say the pilot tried to pull up but it was too late.

The report says the last recorded voice from the cockpit is of the pilot saying “Oh my god”. As the pilot did not take-off in time, the aircraft had rammed into the boundary-wall of the table-top runway before falling into the deep gorge on the other side of the airport, they said.

Data retrieved from the CVR had shown that the captain was on the wrong flight path and had also delayed in taking corrective measures.

The 2.05 minutes of CVR recording has indicated that despite being warned by the aircraft computers to “pull up”, the captain did not listen. 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.

While deposing before the Court of Inquiry, Boeing officials had said that the pilot was not on the right glide path while approaching the airport.

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