Mangalore : Pilot ‘error’ Under Scanner


Mangalore : Pilot ‘error’ Under Scanner

Mangalore, May 24 (DHNS): A possible pilot''error'' is being sought to be explained by the country’s aviation security agency as the primary factor behind Saturday’s disastrous crash of Air India Express flight IX-812 at Mangalore. 

Even as the crucial black box continues to elude the search team, preliminary investigation by a court of inquiry under the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has found that the ill-fated Boeing 737-800 aircraft was not on a proper glide path.

This could have led the plane to overshoot the runway, causing the pilot to lose control and crashing the aircraft, killing 158 passengers and crew members, Civil Aviation Ministry sources said.

Search of the crash vicinity yielded the cockpit voice recorder, which would provide vital clues about what transpired between the pilot and Air Traffic Control (ATC) just before the plane crash-landed. Mangalore airport sources indicated there could be only two possibilities of the crash––errors pilot Zlatko Gluscia may have committed or a technical glitch at the ATC tower.

Airport sources told Deccan Herald that since Mangalore airport is equipped with one of two kinds of instrument landing systems (ILS)––Category 1, by which the pilot must take control of the flight when 800 metres are left for touchdown––it is possible that Glusica took control just before landing but ignored ATC suggestions or warnings at the moment when he overshot the runway. The probe team, which is studying the records stored at the air traffic control (ATC) tower, is inquiring into a possible lapse on the part of the controllers.

Ministry officials admitted that the ATC at the Mangalore airport could have warned Glusica when it noticed that he would surely overshoot the landing threshold. The probe will take into account the possibility of contradictory information that might have been fed to the computer system either in the ATC or the cockpit.

The officials also admitted that the error could have happened when the aircraft was on a fairly high altitude but later failed to align itself on the glide path.

“After sensing that the touchdown went wrong, the pilot must have applied emergency brakes that led to a burst tyre, forcing the plane off the runway and hitting the ILS facility,” sources said.

Such approach radars, with which airports in Mumbai and Delhi are equipped with, generally monitor approaching aircraft over long distances till they establishes contact with the ILS.

If an approaching aircraft fails to align with the glide path, the controllers manning the ATC can correct the pilot’s error and guide him to follow the precise flight path.

Glide path error may have caused air crash

In the absence of an approach radar at Mangalore airport, the pilot might have made his own judgment after contacting with the ATC and locking with the ILS.

Although it has been reported that there was radio contact between the pilot and the ATC about 10 miles before touchdown and that landing clearance was given when the aircraft was about 4 miles away, aviation officials suspect “something amiss”.

They are not ruling out another contributory factor –– a sudden tailwind that could have “pushed” the aircraft, flying at high speed, forward, leading to loss of control on the part of the pilot. While the cockpit voice recorder will surely throw some light on what went wrong, the investigators will focus on warning systems within the aircraft and at the ATC.

 
Vital gadgets


Flight data recorder

Black box or flight data recorder, mounted in the tail of an aircraft, is considered the most crash-survivable part. It is one of the most important gadgets used to reconstruct the events leading to a crash.

Black box is a misnomer as its colour is orange. This is done for easier location after a crash. It is enclosed in steel and surrounded by multiple layers of insulation so that it remains protected against crash, fire and extreme climatic conditions.

It records the actual flight conditions, including altitude, airspeed, heading, vertical acceleration and aircraft pitch.

David Warren of Aeronautical Research Laboratories in Melbourne, Australia, is credited with the invention of the black box in 1953.

Cockpit voice recorder

Cockpit voice recorder records radio transmissions and sounds in the cockpit, such as the pilots’ voices and engine noises.

The recorder’s microphone is usually found on the overhead instrument panel between the two pilot seats.
Sounds of interest captured on the recorder are engine noise, stall warnings, landing gear extension and retraction, crew conversation, communications with air traffic control, automated radio weather briefings, any other abnormal noise.

From these sounds, parameters such as engine rpm, speed, system failures and the time at which these events occurred can then often be determined.

'May the beautiful angels guard you’


For 53-year-old Zlatko Glusica, the Serbian pilot of Flight IX-812, fate took a deathly turn Saturday morning. What seemed like a routine exercise when he started to commandeer the Air India Express Boeing in Dubai, turned out to be his last flight. But he had reached another destination. 

 
The pilot lost his life along with 158 passengers onboard after he missed the "landing threshold" on the Mangalore airport runway, plunging into the valley of death.

Some experts are blaming fatigue and overwork while others are accusing the pilot of error and miscalculation for the disaster. Glusica had adopted -- as his hometown in the United Kingdom where he lived with a family of four -- his wife Ana, and children Merima, Aleksander and Dunja, who also have accounts on the social networking site Facebook.

Zlatko joined Air India Express as a pilot in October 2008, eight months after the Boeing 737-800 aircraft was inducted into the carrier’s fleet. He began flying with JAT, the one-time Yugoslavian airliner, in 1979.

Among his 71 friends are several from the Glusica clan, most of them from Zaltko’s native Serbia. As news of the crash and Zlatko’s untimely death travelled to the farthest corners of the world, moving condolences poured in as messages from his friends and relatives on his Facebook “wall”.

Most of his kin are shell-shocked by the news.They can't believe that their friend is no more. Tahil Filopovic wrote "I can't believe it! You'll be missed as a great friend and pilot. God bless your soul."

An alumnus of the JAT flying academy located in the outskirts of Vrsac in Serbia, Glusica has a flying has had flying experience of over 30 years. His friends feel that the mishap was definitely not his fault. They believe he was an extremely dedicated pilot who knew his work but are sad that his passion for flying took his life. Bosiljka Glusica wrote: "You dedicated your entire life to your career but now your job took your life."

Damir Sosic, another friend says that his absence will always be felt. "It is just that your body that has left us. Ur spirit shall always live with us," he posted. Condolences poured in for the pilot's family as well. Branka Grmas wrote: "Sincere condolences to the family Glusica."

Another friend Branka Jovonovic posted: "May the beautiful angels guard you as you are also an angel."

  • Mangalore Plane Crash - Complete Coverage : Click Here
     

Comment on this article

  • Suresh , Karkala /Dubai

    Fri, May 28 2010

    I have been frequenting via Bajpe
    for the past 35 years and very sensitive to landings and take offs. All these years I have observed following during Bajpe landings. Last 2 to 3 minutes before landing Aircraft used to slowdown, align couple of times vertically and horizontally to the air strip, slowly glide followed by tuchdown. Some times with small thug, mild bounce then brake-release-brake followed by sigh of releaf and cheers.
    On the 18th of May,2010 morning I flew in to Bajpe by IX 812 and was surprised to notice that after entering land over M'lore sea port I dint notice any of the above pre touch down procedures. Though we made a speedy landing than normal that day, every thing went well. This is purely a observation made by me and not directed against any one. May be authorities can take note on my experience if it is useful for future references or for the scrutiny of the present case.
    As a human being I sympathise with all those lost their lives their relatives, friedns and our National Air Line.

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  • Tom Cat, Mangalore/ Saudi Arabia

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Politicians busy naming this airport but least bothered about safety at airport,Moily/Acharya/yeddy/ shame on you all

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  • Jaimini P.B., Manipal,Sharjah

    Wed, May 26 2010

    Almost 99% people are blaming Pilot for the M'lore air crash (including me).It reminds me of Indian Brigadier John Dalavi who took part in Indo-China war.India lost the war and Brigadier was missing.Indian Military & Government treated him as ABSCONDER which is very shameful to Military man. After 3years Chinese Govt.wrote a letter to India and said "Your Brave soldeir John Dalavi is with us" He was released as per the prisoners of war exchanging programme.He was d HERO OF THE WAR on his arrival.Now come to the subject, WILL BLACK BOX MAKE PILOT HERO ? Time will say...wait & see

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  • GSR, Mangalore/Dubai

    Tue, May 25 2010

    THIS IS SURELY NOT THE PILOT ERROR... COZ HE TOO HAS LOST HIS LIFE... HES NOT A FOOL TO AIR CRASH A FLIGHT.... ACCORDING TO ME AFTER READING THE ENTIRE ARTICLE ON NET... SOMETHING HAS SURELY GONE WRONG WITH THE SYSTEM EITHER WITH THE FLIGHT ENGINE OR THE PATHETIC BAJPE AIRPORT.... I AM FROM MANGALORE.... BUT OUR BAJPE AIRPORT AUTHORITIES ARE SO DUMB AT TIMES... MORE SO THE DEADLY RUN WAY...I WILL NEVER FLY TO BAJPE IN MY LEFT OVER LIFE... SORRY THE AIRPORT IS PLACED WRONG. NO USE BLAMING PILOTS.... IT WAS DESTINED TO HAPPEN AND IT HAPPENED... LET US ALL PRAY EVERYDAY FOR THE DEPARTED SOULS TO REST IN PEACE...

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  • christine, mangalore/kuwait

    Tue, May 25 2010

    My heartfelt condolences and sympathies families of the victims who lost thier lives It is sad thing that heaped in our place. I PRAY may Gods peace. Comport be all of the families that they come out from the pain and sorrow. Who lost their loved ones, God is our creator! & we his creatures! As we are few days visitors in this world. The creator only knows when should take birth, or depart from this world. All has to depart. (Ecclesia Prasangi 3 1-8)May this is the time of them to depart. God saved who whom he had plan to stay more, so my self I will not blame pilot or any one accidents, cyclones, storms. An earthquake, tsunami come and goes.

    Only whose time is finishing that ways deportation come. This is the time to comfort families, to come out from the sorrow and pain they going through. Not for blame and bring more pain and sorrow. Its tragedy happened its come one not other way may today for them.
    If pilot saved himself and others let die than I can tell his mistake. Pilot as he is also one among the dead may he tried to save all so he took off plane to bring down other way. But it not worked. Only God know

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  • Cedric, Mangalore/Dubai

    Tue, May 25 2010

    Why blame the Pilot saying that it was pilots error. Only the Black Box can give the details. If the Run way was longer then this accident would have been averted. The airport authority should have taken certain measures. When the old run was in operation, fire brigade as well as a vehicle used to be at the side of the runway when there was a landing & take off.

    After the new runway was opened no vehicles are seen. In case if a fire brigade was at the side of the run way in my opinion casulaties would have been minimised. Water could have been sprayed from the Run way to the burning Plane 300 ft below as it took more than an hour for the fire fighters to reach the tragic site. The need of the hour is not to play the blame game but take measures to prevent such type of tragedies in future. Let us all join together to Pray for the departed Souls

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  • Rahul, Mumbai - Dubai

    Tue, May 25 2010

    Sujata Suvarna & Shruti Suvarna, Bombay/Mangalore/UAE what is the role of Karnataka GOVT in this episode Mr. YEDDI was a pilot he was flying this AIR INDIA EXPRESS normal in any cause of LANDING if any pilot missing touch point ground he will take a U turn and come back and land normaleven you in U.A.E while driving miss one lane will take U turn and come back to normal road you will not hit the DIVIDER and come down to that LANE, but you should protest with CENTRAL GOVT ,they should purchase the DEVICE which have the capacity to reduce the speed of any AIRLINES on arrival so any untoward incident like in manglore passenger should get time to escape from AIRCRAFT.

    This is eye opener to all of US instead of doing condolence meeting we should STRONGLY protest with INDIAN EMBASSY / CONSULATE to take decision in this issue of upgrading software device in AIRPORT to save more life's in front of life ( RICH or POOR) MONEY IS NOTING.

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  • Neela Gonsalves, Sydney

    Tue, May 25 2010

    The horror of it is shocking and loss of life very unfortunate. May god give them rest in his heaven.

    On the issue of error... Could the fact that mobile phones were switched on and in use at the time of landing have caused wrong information to be fed into the aircrafts computers? quite a possibility.

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  • Canute, Dubai/Kundapur

    Mon, May 24 2010

    This tragic incident happened firstly by pilot error. Secondly may be due to technical failure. But major contribution for this is airport and authorities it self. Since there is no room for error why still flights are allowed to land?

    Either relocate the airport or extend the runway for the safety of the public.

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  • raj, Mangalore

    Mon, May 24 2010

    Dear Sujata Suvarna & Shruti Suvarna, Why are you blaming Govt of Karnataka for this. This is international airport under control of central Govt. This is a tragedy incident, lost many lives. Still this is under investigation, Untill then pray for the victims of this incident to rest in peace

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  • Reuben, Mangalore/Melbourne

    Mon, May 24 2010

    Mr. Frederick Pinto, Shirwa. How many air crashes have you seen or investigated to base your claim that most of them occured due to pilot error. Truth is they have occured due to maintenance errors alone accounting to most of them. Even the pilots are human beings who have a family. A wife and children to support. They understand their responsibility well and know if anything happens to their ship they go down with it and with it their family. If you have done your research well you would know that an airline job is one of the most stressful physically and emotionally. So please don't blame anyone without knowing the facts.

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  • Rajesh Menezes, Shirva

    Mon, May 24 2010

    After a crash, if the pilot is alive, nail him. If he is dead, blame him," goes a saying in our circles. The blame game has already begun even as vital safety deficiencies get swept aside. Also its we who always curse the aircraft which today lead to an incident like this. If we are not confident about the airline den please switch on to other aircraft's instead of blaming and cursing and later steping in da same path.

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  • sudheer, mangalore

    Mon, May 24 2010

    Blaming pilot is an easy task as he is no more. While going through Boeing 737-800's history, I could get some information in following links. One may go through to understand similar incidences happened earlier.
    http://www.airsafe.com/events/models/b737.htm
    Also warning given by Boeing regarding faulty altimeters.
    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/US/03/05/boeing.737.memo/index.html

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  • Ahmed, Mangalore / Doha

    Mon, May 24 2010

    Dear Zlatko Glusica,
    May your soul rest in peace. Thank You for your valiant efforts to save the flight, its passengers and yourself in the last moment. But God had other plans my friend. Whereever you are, Rest in Peace.

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  • clifford, Udipi/Bahrain

    Mon, May 24 2010

    please stop blame game, nothing can bring back the life's lost. Instead think how we can improve more so that this disaster wont be repeated.
    May Lord Jesus give the strength and courage for the family members for loss of their loved ones

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  • jossy tauro, mangalore/abudhabi

    Mon, May 24 2010

    First of all sad news that haapend in our place .and god give strength to the famillies who lost their loved ones .Its a tragedy happned by someones mistake whether its is pilot or aircraft. so we shouldnot blame the pilot only and also saying he is exapat. even when we driving a car on raod accidents happen.

    What if our mangalore airport become international airport and we had international flights from other country and sure the pilot will be expat .Like in mumbai , delhi we have many international flights from other country andhave expat pilots .so its not a reason to pilot to blame he is expat .and also about the place .how many years the flights are landing and taking off.? its all the time for the poeple and the destiny for their life .

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  • Lydia Lobo, Kadri

    Mon, May 24 2010

    It could or couldn't be a pilot's error. Can any result bring back our loved ones ? No ! Hence, let us face the reality let us help the mourning family members to come to terms with their loss than partaking in this blame game.

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  • N.Kamath, Manipal

    Mon, May 24 2010

    At this moment its very much wrong to blame the Pilot as he is also one among the dead who sacrificed his life while working.
    Its baseless to say that pilot error caused crash. We should wait and watch till the researchers/Scients arrive at the conclusion.
    Now at this moment of grief, we all have to join hands in condoling the death of each and every passengers and crew members including the pilots of illfated aircraft and pray the Lord almighy to keep the departed souls rest in peace.

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  • Frederick Pinto, Shirva

    Mon, May 24 2010

    The Pilot in command is responsible for everything that takes place during a flight. Most of all aviation incidents, crashes and accidents are caused by pilot error. All the flight incidents not always the fault of the airplane. Most of airline crew members including captain(pilot) and co-pilots staying at the star hotels.

    A airline pilot has been suspended for allegedly being alcohol drunk as airport police stoped him and breath tested about to go aircraft. Should all pilots to go through a medical check before they fly an airplane. Most airlines have zero tolerance policy on alcohol drinks and drugs. Pilots can only drink in moderaion within 24 hours of reporting for duty and not at all within 8 hours of duty.

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  • Sujata Suvarna & Shruti Suvarna, Bombay/Mangalore/UAE

    Mon, May 24 2010

    I would not blame the pilot as he was enough experienced, instead i would put the full blame on Karnatake Govt. for not taking proper safety measures like normally all the other airports have. Now nothing is left so trying to put the blame on Pilot.
    My humble request to The Govt. of Karnataka please wake up and take proper safety measures at the Airport.

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  • Donald, udupi/Bangalore

    Mon, May 24 2010

    we cant blame pilots always.. Even the pilot lost his life which is precious for him..In this Juncture pilot wouldn't have expected the last minute disaster and he might have lost the control.otherwise he would have taken off the flight instead of landing..

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  • ISMAIL K PERINJE, PERINJE/YANBU-KSA

    Sun, May 23 2010

    Let us not speculate and it would be wrong to spring to judgement under the cicumstances.We should wait till scientific assesment of the crash established.At this juncture blaming Capt is unfair.

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  • Langoolacharya, Belman/USA

    Sun, May 23 2010

    Folks,

    Blaming a dead pilot is a path of least resistance...good for all concerned.

    In this case its a difficult call why such an experienced pilot landed almost at the middle of the runway?

    There is a mechanism to test amount of alcohol in blood, but do we have a credible mechanism to determine lack of sleep?could any medical "Vidhvans" enlighten us??

    Now Mr Jadhavji(Chairman of AI) says pilot had 3.5 days day off before starting the flight, so he thinks pilot had sufficient rest, Does Jhadavji has credible proof that indeed pilot took rest during these 3.5 days???

    Lets wait till black box is properly analyzed and a decision is made....

    We should also know if pilot got any inaccurate data from ATC or if all data pilot had was indeed accurate?

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