Calicut plane crash: Investigation blames human error

Photo: Shakeeb KPA/Maktoob

India’s Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) on Saturday released its probe report into the plane crash at Kozhikode airport in August last year that killed 21 people and injured several others.

The report said there were several “violations” of operation procedures before landing by the pilot. 

The passenger plane flown from Dubai with 190 people on board crashed at the Calicut airport killing 21 people. The Boeing 737 skidded off the runway in rain and broke in two after landing. 

The probable cause of the accident was non-adherence to the standard operating procedure by the pilot flying the aircraft but the role of systemic failures as a contributory factor cannot be overlooked, reported PTI.

The dead included both pilots. Seventy-five passengers were seriously injured.

The aircraft crashed as it attempted to land for a second time. The first attempt was aborted by the pilots because of the heavy monsoon-season rainfall lashing Kerala.

They include that not carrying out “adequate briefing” for landing with tailwinds in rain and poor visibility, as well as failure to “quickly calculate accurate landing data in adverse weather conditions”, contributed to the crash. 

A non-functioning windshield wiper had also impaired visibility, the 257-page report said.

The pilot also “did not make the mandatory announcement for the cabin crew to be seated on the first approach for landing… This is a very serious omission and compromises cabin crew”, the report said.

“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,” it said.