CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI ■ ■ KOTTAYAM l SUNDAY l AUGUST 09, 2020 l `8.00 l PAGES 24 l CITY EDITION WHAT HAPPENED Pilot Deepak V Sathe and co-pilot Akhilesh Kumar tried to land the jet on runway number 28, but failed. It was raining, but visibility was 2,000 metres Plane circled the airport a number of times 7.41 PM: The plane approached from the sea side and landed on runway 10 Actual touchdown marker is around 1,000 feet from the start of the runway (about 300 metres of the 2,860-metre runway), but the plane touched down at near midpoint (about 1,500 metres) It overshot to the Runway End Safety Area (RESA) and veered off the surface, plunged 35 feet and crashed into the boundary wall of the airport and split into two Soon after crash, fire tenders circled the area and sprayed foam to form a protective carpet around the flight as fuel was leaking Passengers came out through the broken part of the aircraft before the rescue operations begin at 8pm 11.45 PM: Rescue operation was complete when all the trapped passengers are removed from the mangled remains of the aircraft 149 PASSENGERS UNDERGOING TREATMENT AT HOSPITALS Black box and cockpit voice recorder recovered; Civil Aviation Min Hardeep Singh Puri requests not speculate on the reasons as theories and rumours about the possible reasons for crash do the rounds It was an unusually terse announcement from pilot Deepak Vasanth Sathe before landing. All he said was we will be touching down shortly (45 mins after the announcement, the plane hit the runway) Bad weather or cockpit error? Theories float around as investigation begins D H I N E S H K A L L U N G A L @ T’Puram A DAY after the Air India Express plane skidded off the Kozhikode Airport runway and split into two claiming 18 lives, the focus on Saturday was on finding the reasons for the crash. While a section of aviation experts and staff at the airport pointed fingers at the cockpit crew, others questioned the standard of the runway. While an investigation has begun, an analysis of the flight data recorder (black box) and cockpit voice recorder (CVR), which were recovered on Saturday is ex, pected to provide vitals clues. They were sent to New Delhi for retrieving data. Civil Aviation Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, talking to reporters in Kozhikode, said: “Let’s not speculate on the reasons. The AAIB (Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau, under the Civil Aviation Ministry) is conducting an investigation,” he said. The minister, however, ruled out tabletop runway being the reason for the accident. “This is not the only airport with a tabletop runway We’ve other airports and . our neighbouring countries too have airports with tabletop runways,” he said. Theories and rumours about the possible reasons for the crash -- from hydroplaning to tailwind to pilot error -- were doing the rounds right from Friday night. Doha-based aviation expert Jacob K Philip said the chances of hydroplaning are very remote as there were only light showers during the time of the accident. “At least 3mm water is required on the runway for hydroplaning, a process in which a layer of water builds between the wheels of the aircraft and the runway surface, leading to a loss of traction that prevents the aircraft from responding to control inputs. But the topography of the airport and its runway and the light rain during the time of accident can rule out this,” he said. Another theory is that tailwind (wind that blows in the direction of travel of the aircraft) caused the plane to skid off. The data accessed by TNIE revealed that there was only 12.7 knots of tailwind at the time. “The narrow-bodied aircraft can operate in tailwind up to 15 knots. So, that possibility can also be ruled out,” Jacob said. An Airport Authority of India staff, who witnessed the accident, said the pilot attempted to land on runway 28 first. But it didn’t come through due to bad weather and the aircraft circled the airport a couple of times. When it again approached runway 10, just opposite of runway 28, the visibility was around 2000 metres, and the pilot was given permission for landing. But things took a turn for the worse as the plane touched down almost past midway of the 2,860-metre runway while the , threshold marking for touchdown is about 300 metres from the start. “The pilots either did not have the time to pull up when they realised it or they thought that the aircraft could be stopped before reaching the Runway End Safety Area (RESA),” said an airport staff. “It overshot the runway and went through the RESA, skidded off and plunged 35 feet down.” While experts said only decoding of data from the black-box can reveal what went wrong, they pointed out that in the 2010 Mangaluru air crash, the pilots of Air India Express flight IX-812 misjudged the length of the runway while landing and then tried to get the plane airborne again after landing beyond the touchdown zone. The social media was abuzz with reports that the pilot had drained fuel before making a belly landing due to bad weather. Experts said before making a belly landing, the ATC has to be alerted to make preparations. No such communication passed between the cockpit crew and the ATC in this case, said airport staff. Kapil Kaul, CEO and director of CAPA Advisory, an aviation consulting firm, said he does not want to speculate on the cause of the accident but added that the runway should be extended. Kozhikode airport in a spot after touchdown tragedy D H I N E S H K A L L U N G A L @T’Puram THE Kozhikode Airport at Karipur in Malappuram, which has a table-top runway has been on the regula, tor’s watch list after the Air India Express Boeing 737 crash in Mangaluru in May 2010. A day after the fatal crash, the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) has launched an investigation on Saturday The operation of wide-bodied . aircraft was suspended at the airport from May 2015 in the wake of the Court of Inquiry report on the Mangaluru crash. Later, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) gave the nod for the operation of the widebodied aircraft with several riders in 2018. One major drawback of the runway at the airport, pointed out by various stakeholders, is the inadequate length of the Runway End Safety Area (RESA) which is one of the imperatives for the operation of aircraft under Code E. Later the airport authorities had tried to widen the RESA from 90 to 240 metres. The widening of the RESA and recarpeting work of the runway had helped the airport get conditional nod from DGCA to operate wide-bodied aircraft. But while issuing conditional nod, the DGCA had mandated that periodic runway friction tests before monsoon, calibration of Instrument Landing System(ILS) within a specific period, upgradation of aircraft rescue, operationalisation of anti-skid system and on-board ground proximity warning system among other things. Though the aircraft involved in Friday’s accident does not belong to Code E category experts are per, plexed that the accident of this magnitude happened despite the several red flags raised by the regulator. Bharat Bhushan, a former director general of Civil Aviation, told Express, “Naturally there will be some , restrictions if there is an adverse remark against the airport infrastructure in the investigation report of the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau.” Scenes of agony and distress as Pettimudi searches for answers KERALA CASE DIARY 1,420 test positive on Saturday 1,261 through local contact 1,715 recovered The capital district continues to remain as the epicentre of the virus as 485 cases were recorded on the day Health Department has come out with an advisory for homecare for asymptomatic patients. Covid-19 recovery rate rises to 68.3% as fatality rate dips P T I @New Delhi Shanmukhayya, who ran to the tea workers’ quarters to alert the residents about landslide on hearing the roaring sound on the hills, looks on as earthmovers remove huge boulders searching for missing people at Pettimudi on Saturday | ALBIN MATHEW M A N O J V I S W A N AT H A N @Pettimudi TWO days ago, Vishal and Navami spread smiles in the workers’ colony, cracking jokes and cheering everything in their neighbourhood. On Saturday as , rescue workers lifted the bodies of the children from the debris, wails of pain and anguish filled the air. Scenes of agony and distress unravelled at Pettimudi, the estate workers’ colony located 15 km away from Rajamala in Munnar, which was swept away by a devastating landslide on Thursday night. The earthmover operator spotted a cot and mattress as he removed a boulder from the heap of slush around 11am. Rescue workers rushed to the spot and carefully removed the debris when they stumbled upon the bodies of Vishal and Red alert in 3 districts ● 11,446 people from 3,530 families have been shifted to 342 relief camps, according to Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan ● The IMD issued a red alert in Idukki, Malappuram and Wayanad districts for Sunday ● Kerala asks Tamil Nadu to release water from Mullaperiyar dam through a tunnel to the Vaigai dam when the level touches 136 ft Navami. Digging deeper, they spotted two more bodies --- Sivakami and Paneerselvam, the parents of the children. It seems the four-member family left the world in sleep without realising the tragedy . The rescue workers managed to pull out nine bodies from the landslide spot till 5.30 pm on Saturday Two days have passed . since a portion of the Pettimudi hills came crashing down sweeping away the 40 estate workers quarters in the valley, burying 80 people under heaps of slush and huge boulders. Only 12 people belonging to two families escaped the tragedy and 26 bodies have been recovered. There is no trace of 42 people who were present in the colony when the tragedy struck. “As per our information, there were 83 people in the colony on Thursday night. There was no power supply in the colony for four days and the mobile network was also not available. People living in the upper colony woke up hearing the sound. But nothing could be done as it was pitch dark,” said ward member M ● More on P3 Shantha. FOCUSED and effective efforts towards containment, testing, isolation and treatment by the Centre, states and Union Territories have resulted in the recovery rate rising to 68.32 per cent and fatality rate steadily declining to 2.04 per cent, the Health Ministry said on Saturday . India has one of the lowest cases per million at 1,469 as against the global average of 2,425, it said. According to the ministry, effective surveillance and improved testing network have ensured early detection of cases, consequentially leading to timely clinical management of severe and critical cases. Coordinated implementation of ‘test, track, treat’ strategy by the Centre, states and Union Territories has ensured that case fatality rate has been low compared to the global scenario, it said. WITH THIS ISSUE PLUS 12 PAGES Abdul Rafee A Hameed, a survivor BLACK BOX RECOVERED ONE-YEAR-OLD AZAM’S MAIDEN TRIP TO HOMELAND WAS HIS LAST One-year-old Azam Muhammad did not set foot on his homeland. Born to Vellimadukunnu native Nijaz and Kakkad native Sahira Banu in Dubai, his maiden journey to Kerala to see his maternal grandfather Mohammed and other relatives turned out to be his final one. His mother, the 29-year old Sahira Banu, too succumbed to the mishap. Azam’s siblings—eight-year-old Lahan Muhammad and four-year old Mariyam Binth Muhammad sustained injuries and are recuperating in two different hospitals in the district. Azam was on his mother’s lap while the aircraft attempted to land and then skidded off the runway. P2 IN THE END, SUDHEER WILL REST IN HIS HOMETOWN Kozhikode: Sudheer Variath, 45, who succumbed to the injuries suffered in the Karipur plane crash, had made Valanchery in Malappuram his home a year ago. A Gulf expat for the past 15 years, he had moved to his wife’s place and built a house there. But as fate would have it, he will finally rest in his native place after he was tested positive for coronavirus. As per Covid guidelines, the mortal remains could not be transported or handed over the relatives. It would be cremated in the public crematorium in Kozhikode. P2 ONE OF THE VICTIMS TESTS COVID POSITIVE Kozhikode: A 45-year-old Malappuram native, who is among the 18 killed in the Air India Express crash at the Kozhikode airport on Friday, was found to be Covid positive, according to the results of the test conducted at a private hospital here. He died in hospital around 2am on Saturday. The hospital authorities said extra precautions were taken in the case of the flight passengers and no contact had occurred. However, the health department is yet to announce the name of the deceased who tested positive. P2 Aircraft’s black box comprising digital flight data recorder (DFDR) and the cockpit voice recorder was recovered from the site on Saturday morning. It will be send to Delhi for further investigation by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau, said an official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation The toll in Friday’s accident rose to 18 on Saturday with a passenger succumbing to injuries. The conditions of 23 injured passengers, out of the 149 admitted in various hospitals, are critical. Among the dead are two infants and a fiveyear-old girl, according to an official statement by Air India Express Officials from the DGCA and Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) reached the spot on Saturday morning and launched parallel probes into the incident One of the dead passengers tested positive for Covid-19. The Central Industrial Security Force has directed 50 of its personnel who took part in rescue works to go into preventive quarantine. Additionally, the state government has asked all those who participated in rescue to quarantine themselves
Express Network Private Limited publishes thirty three E-paper editions of The New Indian Express newspaper , thirty two E-paper editions of Dinamani, one E-paper edition of The Morning Standard, one E-paper edition of Malayalam Vaarika magazine and one E-paper edition of the Indulge - The Morning Standard, Kolkatta.