Friday, March 18, 2011

Pilot error suspected as cause

Mangalore - A pilot error may be the cause of the worst plane crash in India for more than ten years have been. The Boeing 737-800 of Air India on Saturday shot out into Mangalore on the runway, crashed down a cliff and burst into flames. 158 people were killed, eight passengers survived.

The weather and visibility conditions at the time of landing were "completely normal" was, India's aviation minister Praful Patel said on Monday the television station CNN-IBN. Human error can not be excluded. Further evidence is now to bring the analysis of the black box, which was recovered on Sunday.

The landing in Mangalore is challenging. The Bajpe airport is located about 30 kilometers outside the city on a high plateau. If the machine after putting in time comes to a standstill, a catastrophe, according to experts, almost inevitable.

The engine of the Air India Express, a budget subsidiary of national carrier Air India, was from Dubai. On board were 160 passengers - without exception Indians - and six crew members.

Million Indians earn their living in the United Arab Emirates and other Middle East countries. Most of the passengers of the accident machine wanted to start the holiday season back home. Some were no longer at home for years, as a father of two Koolikkunnu Krishnan, who survived the crash landing.

undertaken after the touchdown on the runway at first everything worked quite normal, "said Krishnan. Suddenly, the machine is but one side to the other wavered, then I crashed it. "The people screamed, children cried aloud," said the 45-year-old. The machine broke, fire and smoke spread. Somehow he managed to open his belt and climb out of the wreckage, said Krishnan.

The eight survivors were sitting in the middle of the machine, that is, where the Boeing fell apart. They managed to get to the last second to safety before a fireball engulfed the plane. The other occupants had no chance.

Among the dead was the pilot. According to the Indian Interior Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram, the man had more than 10,000 hours of flight experience and was already 26 times landed in Mangalore. Employees of the Serbian airline JAT said, that killed pilots if it were a 55-year-old Serb with a British passport, had previously worked for JAT.

The plane crash was the worst in India since November 1996. At that time, the collision of a Saudi Arabian machine were killed with a cargo plane from Kazakhstan 349 people. (APA)

NOVA: The Deadliest Plane Crash

Flight data recorder

The plane is regarded as the safest form of transport, yet every calamity due to the high number of passengers one too many. To analyze the events prior to the accident exactly, in 1957 the first flight data recorder was invented. This system continued through quickly, and so today every commercial aircraft equipped with such a device.

The flight data recorder is usually in the rear or in the middle of the aircraft, as this area is destroyed by accidents at the least. The flight data recorder is also packed for sure: The box in which it is located, up to 6000 meters water-proof and can withstand temperatures of more than 1,000 degrees Celsius, without prejudice, if it is not that more than half an hour will be suspended.

The flight data recorder is only one component of the "black box": The second element, there is a voice recorder, which continuously records the last 30 minutes of cockpit conversations and on radio. The data recorder records the self-important flight data such as altitude, speed, heading, flap positions and engine numbers. This gives a precise picture emerges about the state of the aircraft before the accident, allowing the conclusions to the cause. These findings are important for the development of the aircraft and the safety standards of major importance.

The flight data recorder is equipped with a transmitter so that it can be located after an accident too. The analysis may take some time because there are few laboratories worldwide that are set up for it. Often this great care is necessary because the black box has been damaged despite all safety measures.

In the future, a new system in planning: There is not always possible to recover the flight data recorder to the operation of the aircraft will transfer the relevant data via satellite to the headquarters of the airline. This keeps the data on each case, the subsequent analysis is facilitated and can be carried out promptly.