Pilots blame fatigue for most mishaps
In the wake of the Mangalore crash, the Indian Commercial Pilots Association - an association of Air India pilots - said up to 78 per cent of crashes were caused by human error blaming fatigue and poor work conditions.delhi Updated: May 23, 2010 00:14 IST
Air India pilots have blamed fatigue and poor work conditions as the most fatal factors behind air crashes.
In the wake of the Mangalore crash, the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) — an association of Air India pilots — said up to 78 per cent of crashes were caused by human error.
Pointing out that such errors are almost always caused by pilot fatigue, they said the rules that govern the pilots' work hours, the Flight and Duty Time Limitations (FDTL), have no scientific basis.
It was formulated in 1992 when air operations in India were on a much smaller scale, they said, adding that not much study had been conducted on the effect of fatigue on performance.
It said the aviation authorities the world over had revised their FDTL on the basis of a study by the Federal Aviation Administration of the US with the NASA.
The association said although the FDTL in India was also changed in 2005, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation later withdrew the revised rules under "pressure from private operators".
In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the ICPA demanded the resignation of Civil Aviation Minister Praful Patel in the wake of the Mangalore crash and raised the issue of pilot fatigue that could have been one of the probable causes behind the Mangalore crash.