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Old 27th July 2017, 14:22   #31
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Default Re: Air India plane flies from Kolkata to Nagpur with landing gear down, Pilots clueless!

My bike , KTM duke 390 , has this feature where the engine shuts down when the kick stand is deployed . It is a handy feature because I have at times forgotten to retract it . Now I am not familiar with airplanes but doesn't something goes "beeeeeeeeeeep" in the cockpit when a couple of pilot suffer from this kind of criminal brain fade ?

That said , I am not surprised by this incident considering the severe corruption and nepotism that guides pilot recruitment to all carriers and especially state owned Air India . Most of the current gen lot who join the airline decided to become a pilot because they knew they had a job waiting for them even before they spent massive money on certification . Reference guides recruitment to carriers ; if you are looking for those who got their job on merit alone , you will find them in the Air Force/Navy (where they then sign an agreement they won't quit their job for the next two decades in favour of a job with Emirates who will prolly pay them 5-10 times as much but I suppose one can't put a price on the joy of flying a jaguar at tree top level ).

Last edited by basuroy : 27th July 2017 at 14:32.
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Old 27th July 2017, 15:16   #32
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Default Re: Air India plane flies from Kolkata to Nagpur with landing gear down, Pilots clueless!

This and the SFO mega disaster near-miss is making me rethink flying itself. The lapses have reached such a point that there is no more confidence left in flying for travel. Even my 8 year old kid knows the sequence V1/VR-Rotate-Positive Rate-Gear Up sequence by heart (Aviation videos on YT). Utterly ridiculous. These so called pilots have not run any of the checklists. With 3 green lights glowing in front of them, how could they miss this is beyond anyone. This low quality is stuff is a direct result of race to the bottom by Airlines in taking on competition.
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Old 27th July 2017, 16:33   #33
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Default Re: Air India plane flies from Kolkata to Nagpur with landing gear down, Pilots clueless!

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Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post

Enough of depressing aviation incidents that media is interested in highlighting.

Here are some recommended reads on historical incidents, that shed the well deserved respect on the profession:

- Neerja Bhanot
Let us leave out that Pan Am incident please.

For the life of me I cannot understand a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) which required the flight crew to be alerted by the cabin crew so that they can escape from the the aircraft and let the cabin crew and innocent passengers face the wrath of a heavily armed bunch of hijackers. I though the captain is responsible for his/her passengers !

Neerja Bhanot did a heroic job but the airline involved did not exactly cover itself in glory.

Back to Air India. The latest Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau report which is out in the DGCA website today is about another Air India crew which went ahead and landed at Mumbai airport four years back despite not getting landing clearance and after being told by the Tower to Go Around. There was a runway inspection going on at that time with two ground vehicles on the runway. Luckily the two inspection vehicles saw the aircraft on short finals and vacated the runway.


http://www.dgca.nic.in/accident/repo...ent/VT-SCL.pdf
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Old 27th July 2017, 16:40   #34
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Default Re: Air India plane flies from Kolkata to Nagpur with landing gear down, Pilots clueless!

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Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
There is a visible warning for sure. There are lights, right above the landing gear. searchingheaven confirmed this point too.

I don't think there is a audible warning for the landing gear though. There are emergency cases where landing gears have been down in advance to be on the safe side.

I think the audible warning you referring to is the terrain alarm ?!
Apart from terrain alarm, I believe that Master Caution and Master Warning also sets off audible warnings. I was referring to that
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Old 27th July 2017, 19:16   #35
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Default Re: Air India plane flies from Kolkata to Nagpur with landing gear down, Pilots clueless!

I don't want to comment too much but my eye brows could not rise high enough on reading this. This is likely to make it to training manuals very soon.
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Very unfortunate event, and something which should never have happened. Assuming it was not a technical issue, this is a error of grave proportions.
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Originally Posted by coolboy007 View Post
To miss some thing like this is virtually impossible, the first thing on an A320's after take off/climb checklist is "Landing gear" - the other pilot replies with "up" after confirming the gear is up. This shows that the crew did not follow normal check lists, there are waypoints on a CFP - computerized flight plan and you keep checking those to match your fuel figures en route, if that was done, the pilots could have caught it out earlier but seems even that was not done. The landing gear produces 180% fuel penalty and this is the reason they almost ran out of fuel and had to divert midway, gear down causes so much more noise but nobody noticed it here.

As a pilot, i understand your concern. I usually advice people to stop pouncing on flight crew before more information is there but as per news...
As for dangerous situations, we are trained adequately for that, India's aviation safety record is good, there could be 1-2 instances like these but that does not mean all airlines in India have such casual attitude towards safety.
searchingheaven, coolboy007 thank you for sharing factual data.
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Originally Posted by narayans80 View Post
Here are some recommended reads on historical incidents, that shed the well deserved respect on the profession:
Thank you.
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Originally Posted by MaheshY1 View Post
I'm confident that the airlines are more serious about my safety than I'm.
Yes they are. Thank you for believing this.
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Originally Posted by maddy42 View Post
Friend of mine who is a pilot did mention that fake certificates are rampant in the Indian circuit
Corruption in some quarters of DGCA especially pre-2013 was a problem in the occasional not fully qualified pilot getting through. Rampant might be an exaggeration. Nevertheless we both agree we don't want even a single half baked pilot just like we wouldn't want to be operated upon by a half baked surgeon.
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That said , I am not surprised by this incident considering the severe corruption and nepotism that guides pilot recruitment to all carriers and especially state owned Air India . Most of the current gen lot who join the airline decided to become a pilot because they knew they had a job waiting for them even before they spent massive money on certification
While I respect your right to your own opinion this statement is an overkill in my opinion.
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This and the SFO mega disaster near-miss is making me rethink flying itself. The lapses have reached such a point that there is no more confidence left in flying for travel.
I don't mean to be disrespectful to you Sir but stopping to drive would add to your safety more than stopping to fly.


Aviation because of its self imposed introspection and constant improvement has become its own enemy with customers expecting 7-sigma operations all the time and cursing us if we deliver 6-sigma plus plus year in and year out! We must be the only industry in the world which is cursed at 6-sigma plus delivery standards. It is because this performance level is taken as normal that our industry (of which I am a proud member) suffers publicity over every incident in any corner of the world. We would like to operate at 8-sigma but as a human endeavor I don't see aviation getting any safer than it presently is. To add to that pilot simulator games these days have made an expert out of too many.

In 2016 total commercial passenger traffic world wide was 3500 million and change. Six sigma is 3.4 defects per million. If we operated at that level it would translate to 11,900 aviation related passenger & crew deaths a year globally. The actual figure for 2016 was 325 the world over*. Every death is a personal tragedy and never to be taken lightly. While we may rightfully hiss at aviation occasionally let us also dwell on this degree of operation and what effort and organization it takes to maintain it round the clock. And please do not assume Air India is a yardstick for this industry or for aviation in India.

-Narayan

PS: I don't fly Air India. Period.
* Statistics quoted refer only to commercial passengers and airliners designed to carry 14 or more passengers. This does not cover personal aircraft, business jets, utility choppers or military.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 27th July 2017 at 19:29.
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Old 27th July 2017, 19:25   #36
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Default Re: Air India plane flies from Kolkata to Nagpur with landing gear down, Pilots clueless!

Quote:
Originally Posted by govindremesh View Post
Apart from terrain alarm, I believe that Master Caution and Master Warning also sets off audible warnings. I was referring to that
Yes they do, but only if an alarm or caution condition exist. Flying with the gear down wouldnít trigger any alarms perse.

Especially as they stayed well with the speed and altitude constraints of a gear down situation. Iím no expert on the Airbus, but I thought with the gear down there is an indication on the speed tape, showing restrictions and such.

Iím not sure if it is possible to bust speed and altitude constraints of a gear down situation with this Airbus. But if you look at their flight profile it looks more as it they were aware of the gear down. Lots of reasons possible as to why they choose to fly on. Typically, you would like to get to an airport where there are facilities and parts available to carry out repairs after you have landed.

So, again I think itís best to wait for a formal investigation report. Iím not so sure I believe what Air India PR dept puts out to press any time, let alone on this one.

With respect to after take off checklist, everybody seems to believe as a given they exist, but thatís not necessarily the case. There are various aircrafts that donít have them, or at least not provided by the Manufacturer. The carriers might add them to the SOPs of course. And many do.

Apparently, various smaller of the Airbus's donít have an after take off checklist, at least not provided by Airbus. Maybe some of our Airbus specialist can confirm?

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Old 27th July 2017, 20:10   #37
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Default Re: Air India plane flies from Kolkata to Nagpur with landing gear down, Pilots clueless!

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Originally Posted by V.Narayan View Post
While we may rightfully hiss at aviation occasionally let us also dwell on this degree of operation and what effort and organization it takes to maintain it round the clock. And please do not assume Air India is a yardstick for this industry.
So which organisation is the yardstick? The airline where a pilot (with a very inexperienced co-pilot alongside) had to go around SIX times in two different airports, before landing blind on the seventh approach with almost nil fuel?

The airline , where a captain after being told by the ground crew about fire being observed on landing gear on one side ordered an evacuation on the SAME side?

The airline, which despite an approved fog plan which required a CAT III A qualified commander to operate a particular flight , operated the flight with a non III A qualified commander and the aircraft narrowly avoided disaster after the visibility suddenly dropped and the crew faced an unexpected runway closure at the alternate.

None of this were Air India, my dear Sir. In fact the three incidents detailed above, are from three different airlines, which I am sure you are very well aware.


The real issue in India, is that our Accident Investigation Bureau do not have a system of "interim reports". By the time a report comes out it is an average from 2 to 4 years after the incident . Unless it is a fatal accident. by that time, the media would loose interest as it is "yesterday's news".


With all this frenetic growth, are we ending up with too many inexperienced pilots flying in the Indian skies???

The opinions are purely mine . I am not a pilot . However the incidents quoted above are all from the official reports publicly available to anyone and not from the media.
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Old 27th July 2017, 22:35   #38
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Default Re: Air India plane flies from Kolkata to Nagpur with landing gear down, Pilots clueless!

I do not understand the logic behind trying to say that Boeing should have given this feature and Airbus should have given that warning, the possibilities of making a mistake are endless people, they can not design a warning for every thing. Taking the gear up after take off is basic airmanship, if you move the lever up and it does not go up, it throws a warning, you forget to put the gear down and come for landing, you get a warning because you are dead if you land without gear, not otherwise where you keep it down after take off.

Next time, a pilot may forget to flare during landing or forget to rotate during take off, companies can not design a warning for every thing. Does any car have a warning to tell you that you driver side window is open? No, because it is obvious, the aircraft's climb rate, handling etc is entirely different with gear down, the plane thinks that the pilots are doing this knowingly, had they exceeded the speed limits for the gear, they would have surely received a loud warning but it did not happen or else they would have realized. Airbus/Boeing learn from each incident and crash and incorporate new things, this landing gear down is a one off grave incident.

You would be surprised to note that the new A320 Neo's our company has received now have automatic evasive maneuver if there is a mid air collision threat, the aircraft can do all actions on its own, these machines are so damn reliable and lovely to fly.

Pilots are humans, they can also make mistakes, when you are doing 4 sectors a day, the continuous pressure changes and unpredictable sleep times take a very big toll on one's body, calling out some one stupid for making a mistake is not done, every one does it. You may be driving cars for 25 years but one day you can also get involved in an accident.

Yes, the Air India crew forgot to put the gear up, can happen on a bad day but the point is they might not have done the check lists which is wrong, not doing periodic fuel calculations is wrong, check lists are made for this reason, to catch your mistakes. Not doing this is more towards attitude than training, this is taking things casually which is not right and it goes in very deep, not related to training believe me.

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Originally Posted by basuroy View Post
whereReference guides recruitment to carriers ; if you are looking for those who got their job on merit alone , you will find them in the Air Force/Navy (where they then sign an agreement they won't quit their job for the next two decades in favour of a job with Emirates who will prolly pay them 5-10 times as much but I suppose one can't put a price on the joy of flying a jaguar at tree top level ).
You really think it is that easy mate? Many pilots i know including me spent 25-30L on CPL, then spent another 10-15L on type ratings and then signed a 5-10 year bond with our company for 50L-1Crore and for signing this bond, we had to wait hard for 3-4 years for a job. As for air force and navy, 70% would flunk in the medicals itself, it is so damn strict, i could not even try there due my eye sight issue. As for Emirates, they don't even look at your resume unless you have 7000-8000 hours, yet even that crew made a mistake last year.

Pilots in Jet had taken 40-45L loan to spend on their training which they gave to Jet after spending 30L on CPL and the poor junior pilots had their salary slashed by half, imaging the stress these guys must be going through, it is not that rosy.

Making is a mistake is one thing, not following standard operating procedures is another, not following procedures is your will and one can blame no one but himself.

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
Apparently, various smaller of the Airbus's don’t have an after take off checklist, at least not provided by Airbus. Maybe some of our Airbus specialist can confirm?
I don't think so, A319-A320 all have after take off/climb check lists, it is extremely important with things like Landing gear - up, Flaps-retracted, packs (air conditioning)- on.

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Originally Posted by TKMCE View Post
So which organisation is the yardstick? The airline where a pilot (with a very inexperienced co-pilot alongside) had to go around SIX times in two different airports, before landing blind on the seventh approach with almost nil fuel?
Wonder why they did that, our company's procedure states that due to weather, you can only go around twice, after that - divert, even dgca has similar rule but not sure. The Captain has to follow it, if not, the first officer has to bring it to his notice but in some airlines in India - the seniority gap is so high and work culture such that the first officers do not dare to say any thing. Am glad the captains in our airline even ask inexperienced junior pilots sitting on observer seats to point out some thing wrong since they are sitting in the cockpit, that is how you encourage juniors to speak up.

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The airline , where a captain after being told by the ground crew about fire being observed on landing gear on one side ordered an evacuation on the SAME side?
The reaction time is extremely less, we are not trained for unexpected things like this. The AME may have confused his port/starboard side to captain's and he made a mistake in the urgency of the situation, mistakes can happen. Even a pilot with 20000 hours can make mistakes, if some one is worried flying because of these incidents, we should stop travelling by car too since there are morons driving on roads and never ever dare to take a cab.

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With all this frenetic growth, are we ending up with too many inexperienced pilots flying in the Indian skies???
Inexperienced yes, poorly trained no. You do get to fly a brand new A320 in India as a first officer with 250 hours on Cessna which is not possible in many other countries but all the captains have well over 35000-4000 hours which is more than enough to get a hold on your narrow body aircraft.

Just want to reiterate that there is a difference between making mistakes which any one can do including you and me, the pilots have a responsibility of 180-300 lives but on a bad day, mistakes happen, can happen with any one, we are not robots.

Mixing that up with a set of crew who most probably did not do check lists, did not do their fuel calculations - this is a different story, let the full report come up. Indian skies are still one of the safest - please do not post that you fear flying because of instances like these, does not happen every day. If you do believe what you write, please stop driving on highways too.

Last edited by coolboy007 : 27th July 2017 at 22:42.
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Old 27th July 2017, 22:50   #39
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Given the number of flights in India alone statistically speaking three incidents might actually not be that bad. Pretty good safety record most likely, statistically speaking.

This is part of the problem. Aviation is a very complex but also extremely safe industry overall. Incidents and accidents no matter how big their impacts on individuals are most likely to be statistically completely insignificant.

The issue of how safe Indian air travel is came up quite some time ago in another aviation related thread. For me the most significant data is still the various ICAO reports and subsequent safety ratings. India lost its rating and was downgraded to what is commonly known as Sub-Sahara standards. Not a good place to be. Since, the rating has been re-instated but it is worrying that it happened in the first place.

The general idea of ICAO ratings is a country continuously improves, not degrades.

Very few countries have been downgraded ever.

There are many aspects to aviation safety. The most important part, in my opinion, is cultural.

Rigorous adherence to procedures and protocols, complete transparency in processes, fact finding more important than pointing fingers and or attaching blame, non hierarchical structures when it comes to questioning the system or decisions, owning up positively encouraged. The list goes on and on.

You can take any "western" aviation magazine and you will find many articles from professional pilots about the mistakes they made, what they learned, how they used that experience.

No offends to anybody, without generalising too much, how well does the above fit Indian society and culture?

You can find multiple threads on this forum about fraud, corruption being rampant in just about every aspect of Indian society. So of course aviation is affected as well. It would be ludicrous to think otherwise. But where is this openly discussed? I haven't come across it yet.

The world worst aviation-accident to date , the KLM-Panam-Tenerife, was largely due to a macho KLM captain not listening to his junior co-pilot. That is a cultural issue.

If you go through the various global fatal accidents you will find that countries with a more hierarchical society have a poorer safety record then those who don't.

Coming back on topic, I still think there is much more to this particular incident than currently known. The fact that the media is reporting it concerns a female crew doesn't give much confidence in the objectivity of reporting.

If anything, as women pilots are still a minority compared to men, they have to be really good at what they do. There are various sources suggesting that women pilots are better then their male counterparts.

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Old 27th July 2017, 23:15   #40
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Default Re: Air India plane flies from Kolkata to Nagpur with landing gear down, Pilots clueless!

Had read similar disturbing news recently that mentioned pilots switching off the good engine after the other one was hit by a bird. Could not find the original article I had read but here's the link to another one on the same incident:

http://avherald.com/h?article=4aaadd7a

I sincerely hope this is not true!
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Old 27th July 2017, 23:58   #41
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Originally Posted by Elegant Pig View Post
Had read similar disturbing news recently that mentioned pilots switching off the good engine after the other one was hit by a bird. Could not find the original article I had read but here's the link to another one on the same incident:



http://avherald.com/h?article=4aaadd7a



I sincerely hope this is not true!

Untill the official investigation report is published its all speculation. But yes, crews have shut down the wrong engine before for multiple reasons.
Until we know what happened you can't really judge.
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Old 28th July 2017, 00:12   #42
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Default Re: Air India plane flies from Kolkata to Nagpur with landing gear down, Pilots clueless!

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Originally Posted by coolboy007 View Post
Inexperienced yes, poorly trained no. You do get to fly a brand new A320 in India as a first officer with 250 hours on Cessna which is not possible in many other countries but all the captains have well over 35000-4000 hours which is more than enough to get a hold on your narrow body aircraft.

I think you and a lot of others were aware of that tragic accident in Mumbai in December 2015 where an Air India Ground personnel was sucked into the engine of a taxying A319.

The accident report is available on the DGCA website. Were you able to go through the same?

The Commander had 17000 hours experience on the type. The co pilot had just 86 hours in type. Despite the extensive experience of the captain the accident could not be averted.

Why?

As per the report, it was on the Co pilots side the ground personnel were standing and hence the Pilot could only confirm from the FO that the all clear was given from the ground . Apparently , from what I understood from the report. the FO confirmed the same to the Captain, despite it not being done by the ground personnel.

More than the direct cause of the accident, other issues which were highlighted in the report is also cause of concern. The flight was running late because the crew had to transfer to the particular aircraft after operating another flight (on a different aircraft) which was running late. In fact so late, that another company pilot , who was on duty but travelling as a passenger on that flight, took the ATC clearance before the operating crew arrived. The investigators were clearly not happy with this.

In another incident, an aircraft which blind landed at Jaipur and got totally destroyed (although everyone survived) was actually despatched with a flight plan for the wrong aircraft tail number although similar type.


Aren't all these pointing to lax internal procedures within the airlines? A lack of discipline generally with possibly a few exceptions?

When a considerably experienced First officer flying on that ill fated Air India Express flight which crashed at Mangalore could do not do anything to avert the accident although he was surely aware towards the end that the aircraft will not be able to stop in time, what chances do these very young short on time FOs have to correct an experienced captain?? Agreed, , in Mangalore the then DGCA rules (now changed) prevented the FO from taking control at that particular airport. But even then with a continuously increasing number of low hour FOs out at the front and with a culture like ours which defers to "authority" , I feel we are now getting into a situation where we are increasingly getting all too dependent on one person on a two person cockpit.


In the USA you need 1500 hours to be a First Officer in an airline. Here the bar is much lower. And with more and more large aircraft orders being signed by India's airlines, how long will it be before we have 2000 hours (total) and 400 hours total FOs paired together flying in the Indian skies???

Last edited by TKMCE : 28th July 2017 at 00:14.
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Old 28th July 2017, 08:08   #43
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Default Re: Air India plane flies from Kolkata to Nagpur with landing gear down, Pilots clueless!

This thread has moved on from the Air India landing gear matter to a lets beat the hell out of civil aviation. I said this in another thread on the Jet runway mishap and I will say it again. Pilot simulator games, videos on air accidents on You Tube, loads of stuff on the web (a lot partly researched) makes many of us susceptible to the risks of half knowledge and worse half knowledge without the context. Also an aviation incident (let alone a fatal accident) makes great press. All human activity is loaded with a risk factor. No amount of automation is going to change that. If we expect aviation (on fatalities) to get better than 325 out of 3500,000,000 passengers then we are whistling in the wind. If we expect that no error of any kind will ever happen (which is what the virulent baiting tone of some posts clearly indicates) then our expectation is unrealistic. Each flight has dozens and dozens of people working on the aircraft and the ground to make the flight happen and to make it safe. Each of those individuals has to perform dozens if not a couple of hundred tasks for that one flight. The great thing about aviation is that we as a global industry analyze each incident break it down into every individual action and then learn from that what went wrong. When we say why did the engineer get sucked or the fire side door open for evacuation we are examining that one of ten thousand actions that made the flight happen. Lets not make the transparency of aviation introspection a rod to beat the industry with. And if 325 parts in 3.5 billion is not good enough lets not fly. There are other modes of transport.

I am not here to make excuses for Air India or its flight crew or the incident.

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Old 28th July 2017, 11:19   #44
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Default Re: Air India plane flies from Kolkata to Nagpur with landing gear down, Pilots clueless!

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I don't mean to be disrespectful to you Sir but stopping to drive would add to your safety more than stopping to fly.
I understand the context, and no offence taken. I have differing views on that subject as well, but wont delve on that now.

Though I, or we may have blamed the pilots on this incident, I just want to backtrack and wait to hear from the pilots themselves. We don't know the real story. All of us are just reacting to a newspaper article. When it comes to sensationalizing such events, leave it to the media. Its possible that pilots may have genuinely experienced trouble in retracting the gear and may have proceeded to a place where maintenance facilities are better. We just need to calm down and leave it to the professionals to handle this.

Meanwhile, a very heart-warming development:

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Old 28th July 2017, 12:51   #45
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Default Re: Air India plane flies from Kolkata to Nagpur with landing gear down, Pilots clueless!

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Wonder why they did that, our company's procedure states that due to weather, you can only go around twice, after that - divert, even dgca has similar rule but not sure. The Captain has to follow it, if not, the first officer has to bring it to his notice but in some airlines in India - the seniority gap is so high and work culture such that the first officers do not dare to say any thing. Am glad the captains in our airline even ask inexperienced junior pilots sitting on observer seats to point out some thing wrong since they are sitting in the cockpit, that is how you encourage juniors to speak up.


Thank you for being honest enough to write what you did and to admit there are some issues . Really appreciate that , keeping in mind that the reaction of some other pilots here in this (and a releated thread) has been to ridicule and mock instead , if any non airline pilot tried to raise these issues. By doing that it only reinforces the very same thing I am trying to highlight, the intolerance to criticism by some airline personnel - the know it all attitude, the indifference to laid down procedures and good operating practices- brought about among other things by lax monitoring both internally within the companies and by the regulator. This resulted in a spate of accidents in the 1970s and 1980s, some of which was highlighted by another poster in this thread. There seemed to have been a reduction in such instances after that, but now seem to have increased of late if the information released through the DGCA website (which is my primary source - not media) is anything to go by,

There were a spate of incidents in Korea/Taiwan and Japan a couple of decades back precisely because of the issues you have talked about. I am happy to see, that in atleast one airline in India (yours- which ever that may be) the CRM issues raised are taken seriously and sincerely hope that there are may other airlines too following the same policy Incidentally I would like to know whether India has the equivalent of CHIRP in UK?

Media reports and internet may be exaggerated. Accident Investigation reports are NOT. These are official reports done after proper investigations. There has been instances elsewhere in the world , where pilots have challenged the findings of the official enquiries successfully- the most prominent being the accident in Antarctica of Air New Zealand Flight 901. An initial finding of pilot error by the official investigation was successfully overturned thanks to the efforts put in by fellow pilots like Gordon Vette.

How many such reports in India have been challenged by the pilot community? Hardly anything I am aware of . Which basically comes to the conclusion that the issues which these reports raise are real issues- which some in the pilot fraternity refuse to accept.


Hopefully India will have something soon like the one FAA has- see link given below.


http://lessonslearned.faa.gov/index.cfm
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