On September 2, 2017, an Air India Express flight IX 452 from Abu Dhabi to Kochi with 102 passengers on board ended up in an open drain following a landing in heavy rain. The incident left three passengers with injuries and serious damage to the aircraft, especially the front landing gear that collapsed.
Following the incident, poor weather was blamed for the accident. However, an investigation has now revealed that the senior male pilot, who was 30 years older to his female co-pilot, refused to take her suggestions or warnings at the time of landing.
According to a HT report, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official told the media outlet that, ‘There is not just one reason behind an accident. In the report, we tried to go to the exact details and found that probable cause of accident was incorrect judgement taken by PIC (pilot-in-command). Heavy rain and reduced visibility were contributory factors.”
In order to avoid a repeat of such an accident, aviation authorities have advised Air India Express to ensure pilots are not paired in a way that they have a wide age gap.
The report said that the co-pilot informed her senior that she was unable to see the runway markings and asked him to go extremely slow. She further advised that a “follow-me” vehicle, which is used to guide aircraft in cases of low visibility, be arranged for. However, there was no response from the pilot-in-charge.
In an unprecedented turn of events, the aircraft took a 90m early turn before the taxiway and entered into open rain water drain.