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Kozhikode Plane Crash: Probe Shows Pilot Did Not Follow SOP Making It Probable Cause of Accident

By: News Desk

News18.com

Last Updated: September 11, 2021, 23:02 IST

New Delhi

The crash last year, involving an Air India Express Boeing 737-800, killed 21 people, including the two pilots, and injured several others. (Image: Arunchandra BOSE/AFP)

The crash last year, involving an Air India Express Boeing 737-800, killed 21 people, including the two pilots, and injured several others. (Image: Arunchandra BOSE/AFP)

The AAIB report also mentioned that the role of systemic failures, however, cannot be overlooked in the crash involving the Air India Express flight operating under 'Vande Bharat Mission'.

The probable cause behind the plane crash in Kozhikode airport last year was that the pilot did not follow standard operating procedure (SOP), stated a probe report by Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB). The report also stated that the role of systemic failures, however, cannot be overlooked.

The crash, involving an Air India Express Boeing 737-800, killed 21 people, including the two pilots, and injured several others. The plane ran off-course while trying to land amid rain and later broke into pieces. A total of 190 people were on the flight when the crash took place on August 7, 2020. The flight was being operated from Dubai under ‘Vande Bharat Mission’ to repatriate passengers who were stranded overseas due to closure of airspace and flight operations owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The AAIB released its probe report on Saturday. “Probable cause of the accident was the non-adherence to SOP (standard operating procedure) by the PF (pilot flying),” the report stated.

The report further stated that the pilot followed an unstabilised approach and landed beyond touchdown zone. But the investigation team also believes that systemic failures as a contributory factor to the accident cannot be overlooked.

“A large number of similar accidents/incidents that have continued to take place, more so in AIXL, reinforce existing systemic failures within the aviation sector. These usually occur due to prevailing safety culture that give rise to errors, mistakes and violation of routine tasks performed by people operating within the system. Hence, the contributory factors enumerated below include both the immediate causes and the deeper or systemic causes,” it added.

On Thursday, civil aviation minister Jyotiraditya Scinida said, “Whatever steps that have been advocated on the basis of that report, those steps will be and have to be executed… within the ministry, we will be also putting together a group of people that will be tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that the steps that have been recommended in the report are put in place at the airport.”

(With PTI inputs)

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first published:September 11, 2021, 23:02 IST
last updated:September 11, 2021, 23:02 IST