Pilot error and failure to follow safety guidelines probably led to the crash of an Air India Express plane in August last year, investigators say.
The passenger plane, which had 190 people on board, crashed at the Calicut airport in Kerala’s southern state, killing 21 people.
After landing, the Boeing 737, which had flown from Dubai, skidded off the runway in rain and split in two.
The flight was carrying Indians who had been stranded due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Both pilots were among the dead. One hundred and seventy-five passengers were seriously injured.
The plane crashed while attempting to land for the second time. The pilots aborted the first attempt due to heavy monsoon-season rainfall lashing Kerala.
According to the report by India’s Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau, the pilot violated several operational procedures prior to landing.
They include failing to provide “adequate briefing” for landing with tailwinds in rain and poor visibility, as well as failing to “quickly calculate accurate landing data in adverse weather conditions,” as factors in the crash.
The 257-page report also stated that a non-functioning windshield wiper had hampered visibility.
In addition, the pilot “The mandatory announcement for the cabin crew to be seated on the first approach for landing was not made… This is a serious omission that jeopardises the safety of the cabin crew “, according to the report.
According to the report, “systemic failures” may have also contributed to the crash.
“These usually occur as a result of the prevailing safety culture, which leads to errors, mistakes, and violations of routine tasks performed by people operating within the system,” it said.
Plane crashes have occurred previously during India’s monsoon season, which lasts from June to September and wreaks havoc across South Asia each year.
In May 2010, an Air India Express flight overshot the Mangalore airport runway and crashed, killing 158 people.