Indian pilots are inadequately trained for landing on wet runways, as the drill followed by domestic carriers for monsoon preparation is outdated, reported a government-appointed independent air safety panel.
The Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council (CASAC), set up after the Air India Express Mangalore crash in 2010, spoke about its concerns with the civil aviation secretary on April 28. Hindustan Times has a copy of the letter sent to KN Srivastav.
The letter says that Approach and Landing Reduction training is crucial for flight operations during monsoon. However, the manual currently being followed by domestic airlines was created in 2001 and is now outdated.
“The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) made a presentation at the last CASAC meeting in February that an upgraded version of the Approach and Landing Accident Reduction (ALAR) manual would be circulated among pilots. However, with just a month left for the monsoon, pilots continue to use the outdated training module,” said Captain Mohan Ranganathan, member CASAC.
CASAC members added that the old ALAR manual lacks crucial drills during monsoon operations such as recovery after a rough landing, the procedure to manually abort landing and take-off mid-air after an automated touchdown procedure, loss of altitude control, a stall situation —when an aircraft is unable to move higher owing to its angle, operations on the wet runway and cross winds.
He added that the lack of proper training could be critical during the monsoon as some Indian airports do not have runways compliant with international safety standards.
“Mumbai, Calicut, Mangalore and Jammu are prone to mishaps during the monsoon as none of the runways have the mandatory 150 metres safety cushion recommended by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO),” added Ranganathan.
DGCA chief Arun Mishra said he was not aware of the issue and had not been informed. “It is a serious concern and we will look into the matter as soon as possible,” he said.