Kerala Plane Crash Not An Accident But A Murder: Captain Mohan Ranganathan

 - Sakshi Post

Following the Kozhikode plane crash on Friday, flight safety expert Captain Mohan Ranganathan called the crash "not an accident but a murder".

Eighteen people were killed and scores injured when the flight, which was part of the Vande Bharat Mission, from Dubai with 190 on board overshot the table top runway at 7.41 pm while landing in heavy rains and fell into a valley 35 feet below and broke into two portions on Friday night. The pilot-in-command Captain Deepak Sathe and his co- pilot Akhilesh Kumar were among those who lost their lives.

Speaking to a daily, he said if appropriate steps taken on time, similar accidents can also take place at Patna and Jammu airports. He said both the airports have dangerous airfields and no safety measures.

“The warnings were ignored... in my opinion, it is not an accident but a murder. Their own audits have had flagged safety issues” Ranganathan was quoted saying by the daily.

Ranganathan, who is a member of a safety advisory committee constituted by the civil aviation ministry, told the daily that he had submitted a report around nine years ago, warning that the Calicut (now Kozhikode) airport was not safe for landings, adding that this accident could have been avoided.

Explaining the issues of tabletop runways, he said that how these have very little space and safety protocols are ignored.

It was nine years ago that Ranganathan, in a letter  addressed to the chairman of Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council (CASAC) and civil aviation secretary had pointed out that the Runway 10 of the Kozhikode airport could be risky for landing in tailwind conditions in rain, the daily reported.

“I understand that Runway 10 ILS is being used on a trial basis at Calicut. Some of the crew are accepting even VOR approach on Runway 10. The reason is the lower minima than Runway 28. However, all the flights that land on Runway 10 in tailwind conditions in rain, are endangering the lives of all on board,” he had said.

“The runway strip is just half the minimum width laid down in ICAO Annex 14. This fact was known to the DGCA team that has been conducting inspections and safety assessments during the past several years. Have they considered the danger involved? Has the DGCA or the airlines laid down any operational restrictions or special procedures?” he had written.

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