India has rules to prevent Germanwings-like crash
28 Mar, 2015, 05.01AM IST
NEW DELHI/MUMBAI: An incident like the Germanwings plane crash in the French Alps is unlikely to happen to Indian airlines. Local rules make it compulsory for carriers to have at least two crew members in the cockpit at all times during a flight.
If one of the pilots steps out, a cabin crew member must step in. That would avoid a situation like what happened, according to preliminary investigations, to the German airline’s flight to Dusseldorf from Barcelona: the co-pilot locking out his colleague and deliberately slamming the Airbus 320 to an alpine ridge at about 650 km an hour, killing all 150 on board.
Airlines in the US need to follow a similar rule. But it is not compulsory yet in Europe. On Friday, Germanwings’ parent Lufthansa said it will introduce new rules requiring two crew members to be in the cockpit at all times. Several other airlines have also announced such steps.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation, India’s aviation regulator, introduced the policy in 2010, after a mid-flight incident in an Air India Express plane. The flight between Dubai and Pune plunged several thousand feet while on autopilot, as the co-pilot, who was alone in the cockpit at the time, had blanked out. The commander had gone to the toilet.
During an inquiry, it was found that the commander realised that the flight was losing altitude and rushed back and knocked on the locked cockpit door, but there was no response. When repeated knocking elicited no response, he punched in the code on the electronic door lock and entered the cockpit.
He found the autopilot disengaged. The co-pilot was unable to bring the plane under control. The commander took control of the aircraft in the manual mode. DGCA sources said the European regulators are looking for details on the Germanwings’ crash. “The final report will have recommendations for airlines globally and we will see those recommendations then and decide,” said an official.
Most rules are in leaders’ pocket in India.
Nothing can prevent a determined killer to execute his plans. He has 101 ways to perform this. we can only make his act difficult to perform.
Nv Fortune (NY)
What takes to declare everything is right while we cannot control even traffic signals!
looks like India was ahead in some security aspects. all that is now needed is for the multiple authorities of various counties to come together and frame some basic guidelines
Prem Sukh (New Delhi)
We are Best.
Good but in India, the rules are never a problem but the implementation is.
Let’s not boast about the rules in India ….. they are the first thing to be damned …. come on road you will see breaking of rules in wholesale
Rajiv R (Ahmedabad)
This is definitely being followed on domestic routes. At least one proactive rule by the DGCA.
Prashant Nayakanti (Unknown)
Too much cost cutting is also unsafe
Navin Mithal (Nagpur)
I have another angle to this unfortunate crash. Being an retired flight crew, I feel very sad that such accidents continue to draw attention against CREW. May be but there could be an accidental angle also. I read in Aviation week mag this week that in yet another Airbus 320 accident when it descended from 35000 ft rapidly to 14000 ft while one Pilot was out of cockpit and due to ‘gravity’, could not re-enter cockpit. Investigation revealed that the Pilot inside cockpit had placed his ‘camera’ on his side where ‘control stick’ got activated in ‘nose down’ when he moved his seat as camera got jammed. He was unaware what had happened. There was a uncontrollable attitude of the aircraft and plane did not exceed limits due to its inbuilt system and by chance the camera came unstuck. The plane got in proper attitude and to safety. Therefore, this angle must be investigated as well.