Our pilots handled ILS failure incident professionally
Our pilots handled ILS failure incident professionally
Air India Pilots Avert Plane Crash & Save 370+ Lives After Major Systems Failure
20 September, 2018, 00:49
An Air India Boeing 777-300 carrying 370 people from New Delhi to the United States had to endure bad weather, low fuel and multiple systems failure before it managed to land safely at an airport in New Jersey.
The commander in charge of the 15-hour flight could be heard fretting approximately 38 minutes prior to landing, as he called Air Traffic Control in NY to say: "We're really, you know, stuck, and there's no fuel".
Flight AI-101 Captain Rustom Palia went on to described how there was only one radioaltimeter functioning and the Traffic Collision and Avoidance System had failed.
Using an out-of-the-box approach, the pilot landed the plane safely by mimicking the instrument landing system with the help of the jet's vertical and lateral navigation systems.
"Basically. We have got a single cross radio altimeter, we have got TCAS failure, no auto-land, windshear systems, auto-speed brake and the APU (Auxillary Power Unit) is unserviceable as well", one of the pilots said during the conversation.
For the first time, we can play out the actual conversation between the pilots of Air India AI-101 and the Air Traffic Control in NY when the flight reported a major crisis.
The air traffic controller said: "I wish there was more I could do for you".
"Yea, that's correct", responded the pilot, calmly.
"And you said your radio altimeters are out on both sides of the airplane?"
In simple terms, the pilots of the nine-year-old Boeing 777-300, among the most sophisticated airliners ever designed, would need to manually land the massive jet without the aid of a host of systems created to help the process. The low fuel meant the crew could not wait for the weather to clear up. With the cloud base at just 400 feet, the pilots would need to fly even lower to be able to spot the runway.
"Gotcha. Okay I am gonna do some research I will get back to you in a second just a".
"The experience and expertise of our cockpit crew came handy and they landed safely at the alternate airport at Newark".
Besides ILS there are several other approach categories used by modern aircraft like RNAV, GPS, LNAV/ VNAV etc. Loss of some instruments is not a serious cause of concern as our pilots are well trained to handle these exigencies, the statement from Air India added. There was not enough fuel to risk flying to Albany, Boston or Bradley International Airport at CT and he would take the chance "shooting an approach" into Newark despite the marginal weather conditions. Which means that the pilots had no assistance on how to align the jet during landing.
So, with no Instrument Landing systems, the pilots took a "non-precision" approach with the help of the few navigational aids that were functional.
Moments before touchdown, the tower at Newark Airport sounded out an alert and said AI-101 was flying too low on its approach.
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