Air India Express pilot ignored co-pilot's suggestion to go around, says probe report

Besides observing serious lapses on the part of the crew of the Air India Express Boeing 737-800 that crashed here on May 22, 2010, killing 158 passengers, the probe into the accident has pointed to “ineffective” crew resource management (CRM) as well.

Ineffective CRM is listed as one of the contributing factors leading to the crash.

The aircraft overshot the table-top runway and plunged off the cliff into a wooded valley. Pilot Z. Glusica had, it is pointed out, ignored the co-pilot's suggestion to go around, instead of landing, on finding that the parameters were incorrect.

The probe found that the pilot was sleeping for an hour and 40 minutes, which could have led to sleep inertia during the Dubai-Mangalore flight.

“…the accident was in the making on the approach itself,” the report said.

The 175-page report by the court of Air Marshal B.N. Gokhale stated that the flight crew was a combination of a foreign PIC (Pilot in Command) and an Indian first officer, who possibly lacked CRM due to mixed cultural issues.”

It said the late first officer H.S. Ahluwalia was known to be stickler for SOP (standard operating procedure). It came to light that the First Officer had complained in writing about one foreign pilot to the management.

The management had not counselled him and the foreign pilot.

“Possibly due to such feelings, the first officer did not try to wake up the captain,” it said.

There was no conversation between the two for a long time during the flight.

The flight crew had failed to carry out the required Descent Preparation Checks. Even the first officer had failed in this respect.