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 ■ ■ KOCHI l SUNDAY l AUGUST 09, 2020 l `8.00 l PAGES 24 l LATE 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 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 Centre orders probe into Air India Express plane crash at Kozhikode airport; experts had flagged safety concerns of runway in 2011 but those were ignored; Black box recovered, sent to retrieve data 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) Rain, wind or error? Theories float as crash probe 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 expected 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 narrowbodied 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 t h e wo r s e a s t h e p l a n e touched down almost past mid-way of the 2,860-metre runway, while the threshold marking for touchdown is about 300 metres from the ● More on P5 start. Captain Deepak Vasant Sathe Kozhikode airport lands in a spot after touchdown tragedy D H I N E S H K A L L U N G A L @T’Puram First Officer Akhilesh Kumar We need to evolve a system to ensure pilots have information from ATC about the runway surface condition during monsoons when we have torrential rains Kapil Kaul, CEO and director of CAPA It was an unusually terse announcement from pilot Deepak Vasanth Sathe before landing. All he said was we will be touching down shortly (After the announcement, it took 45 minutes for the plane to hit the runway) Abdul Hameed 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. The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) 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. Though the aircraft involved in Friday’s accident was not wide-bodied, experts are perplexed that the accident of this magnitude happened despite the several red flags raised by the regulator. In 2018, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) gave the nod for the operation of the widebodied aircraft with several riders. A major drawback of the runway at the airport, pointed out by various stakeholders, is the inadequate length of the Runway End Safety Area (RESA), one of the imperatives for operating wide-bodied aircraft. Later the airport authorities had tried to widen the RESA from 90 to 240 metres. That as well as the runway’s recarpeting work helped the airport get conditional nod from DGCA to operate wide-bodied aircraft. But while issuing a conditional nod, the DGCA had mandated periodic runway friction tests before monsoon, calibration of instrument landing system within a specific period, upgradation of aircraft rescue, operationalisation of anti-skid system and onboard ground proximity warning system among other things. Bharat Bhushan, a former director general of Civil Aviation, said: “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 11,446 people from 3,530 families have been shifted to 342 relief camps, according to the chief minister. P4 The IMD issued a red alert in Idukki, Malappuram and Wayanad for Sunday Shanmukhayya, who ran to the workers’ quarters to alert the residents about landslide on hearing the roaring sound, 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 res, cue 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 1 1 a m . Re s c u e wo rke r s rushed to the spot and carefully removed the debris when they stumbled upon the bodies of Vishal and 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 work- ers 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 Shantha. Kerala asks Tamil Nadu to release water from Mullaperiyar dam through a tunnel to the Vaigai dam when the level touches 136 ft These are two different types of tragedies and the follow-up activities would also naturally differ. What has been announced now for Rajamala is only the first phase. It does not end here CM Pinarayi Vijayan on the difference in compensation for flight crash and landslide victims Abdul Rafee A Hameed, a survivor BLACK BOX RECOVERED Mangled remains of the AI Express that crash-landed at Kozhikode airport (top); the spot where the plane landed after skidding off the runway | PTI 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 HE HAD DONATED MONEY FOR POOR BEFORE LEAVING DUBAI The death of 19 people in the plane crash at Kozhikode airport came as a big shock to the people in Kerala and across the world. Many people took to social media to pay tributes to the deceased persons. Shafi Parakkulam, an expat, could not believe the death of his friend, Sharafudheen, 35, a native of Pilassery (Kozhikode), who was on board with 184 other passengers. Shafi said Sharafudheen visited him at his hotel in Dubai before leaving to Kerala. “He visited me at my hotel before leaving to Kerala. He also handed over an amount to me and asked to provide food to the poor people using that,” Shafi wrote on his Facebook post. P2 It was an unusually terse announcement from pilot Deepak Vasanth Sathe before landing. “All he said was we will be touching down shortly,” said Abdul Rafee A Hameed, 39, one of the survivors. After the announcement, 45 minutes passed before the plane touched down. “For the first two-three seconds, I thought it was smooth. Then the plane bounced off the tarmac and split into two. I could feel we were going down,” Rafee said. Between the announcement and the touchdown, the pilot was either accelarating or going very slow, he said. P2 K U M A R V I K R A M & S U M I S U K A N YA D U T TA @ New Delhi DESPITE the surge in Covid-19 cases, only about 50% of the all the centrallyallocated ventilators, a crucial medical device that aid patients in advanced stages of illness, have been delivered to states across the country . An RTI reply received by this newspaper from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has disclosed that of the 17,968 ventilators allocated to states till July 10, only 9,150 instruments had been delivered.At only 6%, Andhra Pradesh led the states with the least number of ventilators being delivered. The other states with low numbers are Madhya Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, at 11% and 17% respectively . Sikkim and Lakshadweep didn’t get a single ventilator, but both have low case loads. Karnataka, with over 1.6 lakh confirmed cases, has received 630 ventilators against an allocation of 1,650. Kerala has received 107 ventilators against 480 being allocated. Maharashtra, the worst affected state with 4.90 lakh confirmed cases, has been allocated the highest number of ventilators and it has received 1,805 of them. 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 five-year-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 THERE WAS NO WARNING FROM THE PILOT, SAY PASSENGERS Not all ventilators reaching states 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 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 MORE RECOVERIES THAN NEW CASES 1,420 test positive on Saturday 1,715 recovered T’Puram remains the epicentre of the virus as 485 cases were reported Health Dept comes out with an advisory for homecare for asymptomatic patients WITH THIS ISSUE PLUS 12 PAGES
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