Not adhering to the standard operating procedure was the probable cause of the Air India Express plane crash at the Kozhikode airport last year, but the role of the systemic failures as a contributory factor cannot be overlooked in the accident, according to the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) probe report that has been made public today.
The crash of the Boeing 737-800 aircraft had killed 21 people, including the two pilots, and injured many others. While trying to land at the airport while it was raining heavily, the aircraft overshot the runway and later broke into pieces.
There were 190 people on board the flight to Kozhikode that crashed on 7 August 2020.
The AAIB released the report today.
The report published over a year after the air crash said the “probable cause of the accident was the flying pilot’s non-adherence to the standard operating procedure (SOP).
The pilot continued an unstabilised approach and landed beyond the touchdown zone, “halfway down the runway, in spite of ‘Go Around’ call by PM which warranted a mandatory ‘Go Around’ and the failure of the PM to take over controls and execute a ‘Go Around'”, the report says.
The AAIB, the report said, is not overlooking the role of systemic failures as a contributory factor in this accident at the Kozhikode airport.
“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 gives rise to errors, mistakes and violations 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 Scindia said the report on the Kozhikode air crash would be made public in the next couple of days. “Whatever steps that have been advocated on the basis of that report, those steps will be and has 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,” the minister had said.
Last month, Minister of State for Civil Aviation Gen VK Singh told the Lok Sabha that the government had made final compensation offers to all the next of kin of the dead, but none of the “next of kin has sent their acceptance as of date”.
“Final compensation offers have been made to all the 165 injured passengers, out of which 73 passengers accepted the offer and have been paid a total amount of Rs 60.35 crore as the final settlement as of date,” he had said.