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7-hr trip turns into 60-hr nightmare

NewDelhi: Over 200 passengers onboard Air India's Milan-Delhi flight had a harrowing time recently when their Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft had to abort landing at the IGI Airport twice due to dense fog. The flight that was supposed to reach Delhi in seven hours finally landed after 60 hours, spoiling the Christmas plans of many fliers. The incident once again exposes AI's failure to have its Dreamliner aircraft certified for instrument landing system (ILS). Sources say AI's… ( More...

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preacher1 3
The planes themselves are CAT III compliant but the Indian powers that be have just not certified it and some others as being so. Instrument landings are in Categories by their difficulty and standards. A local airport will give out these conditions then it is up to the pilot to attempt a landing or not, depending on their personal qualifications. All the planes have the instrumentation but in addition, it is a personal qualification of the pilots themselves; the various type of landings will involve a DH or decision height, at which time a pilot must see the runway or go around. At a DH of 150', you are already flared and along for the ride anyway. It is a lightening fast reflex to make a decision to go around at that time. By the same token, it takes guts to have faith in your instruments to sit there blind until 50-150' expecting a breakout at the last minute.
preacher1 3
I would add here that with a DH of 150' and over the fence at about 130kt, you had better hope you are lined with the runway, cause chances are that you will touch down before you get spooled up and airborne again. You can have RVR of 1000',runway visual range, and be expecting to break out at that point, but sometimes you don't.
ThanX for the education. I am the last person to put the burden of risk taking on the pilots. As far as pilot's certification is concerned , I appreciate it. But it beats all logic that Indian authorities and airline making conflicting claims !
Numerically speaking, no country can claim as many qualified people as we in India. And I mean every field/subject at all levels of proficiency . But what is our success or achievement rate/level ? Dismally low . Reasons are not far fetched to visualize.
I wonder what kind of jolt will wake up those who run and regulate the destiny of this vast multitude of humanity , that we call Indians ?
preacher1 3
There are many examples in the world where technology is outpacing government ability to stay up with it. That said, in this particular case, there is no reason for it. You have same instrumentation and certification on these approaches, as on other type aircraft, even more so on the 787. There is absolutely no reason for this one. One of the most modern aircraft in the world and already certified by every other major aviation authority; there is no reason for them to drag on this.
preacher1 3
I do need to note her that pilot duty time is just that. On duty when available for a flight. It is for rest/fatigue. Overtime is not an option.
Yes , why drag it ? And that's sadly what India is all about ! And still we want to keep yelling , " Make in India " . I wonder how and and on what basis ?
Previous govt. ruined the nation and the current one is proving no better .
linbb 3
I would also like to note here AI doesn't have that good a maintenance record keeping the 787 ready as they have had problems that others have not had. Also trying to hold Boeing up for there problems blaming the AC not the mechanics working on it.
The quote made in India also follows with low pay for many there.
preacher1 3
Whether true or not, the Indian and many other countries over that way, have the reputation of 3rd world, and basically bungling fools trying to impress others on the world stage with their importance. We have some of your best and brightest over here, particularly in the medical field. Some are personal friends and they are telling me that the came over here to get out from under this same type bureaucracy of which this article speaks. You have an older generation not keeping up with a younger one and a younger one that has been exposed to what's going on the world around them. Pomp and position/status, while maybe still respected, has no real place anymore. The world is becoming performance based. A good example is that we in the U.S. have many ambassadors that are not qualified, just political hacks that donated to President Obama. At some point and time, they will not be able to perform, and folks will wring their hands and wonder why. This will happen over there someday as well.
preacher1 3
And back to your original question, if they have a 777 certified for CAT3, there is no reason they shouldn't just rubber stamp the 787 and go on.
The crux seems that Indians are good but are governed badly . At least back here at home ! And yet we desire a place by the side of G-8 nations without being 10% of them in terms of governance, national policy and useful leadership .
Being a qualified professional my head hangs in shame .
Wayne Arnold 2
There is already the "systems" you talk about, available now,-you can see through fog, rain,and almost any other condition's.but you must still be able to depend on the pilot being proficient in the use of "systems" I.E.FLIR -and speaking for my self,I don't like putting my life or my passengers lives into any of this technology -regardless of whether I am flying a falcon 900 or a Cessna 150 -we just heard as of today, about yet another loss of one of the most technologically sophisticated aircraft flying today -everyone is already discussing the reasons for this tragic accident -to truly know, we will have to etc a lot more evidence -but for now all I can say is I want to be able to see The runway threshold, the numbers, the grass- I don't want to try and make a split second decision -like one of the other readers commented on (at 150 ft already starting to flare)its just starting to seem like with all the New and newer technologies -we as pilot's either become dependent on these "system's" and with every new component in the panel's it is very east for us to become TASK SATURATED -and the studies have shown -we need to get back to stick and Rudder flying -and I do understand that we can't just fly in good weather, if that was the case we would be set back a 100 yrs in are ability to move passengers and goods -but I also fear again what might turn out to be the culprit in this latest accident -we in America must be the most trained group of people because it is practice from the time you solo in a little trainer until you walk out the door for the last time @the ripe age of 65 and you might step out of(depending on your age)something that looks like the now retired shuttle -or a AG wagon to a 747 -but throughout it all we still spend a lot of time studying the weather and chasing clear skys and good visibility at the destination and that my fellow aviators will never change -HOPE THE VERY BEST OUTCOME FOR THE FAMILIES OF FLIGHT 8501
Yet another colourful feather in the cap of we Indians
" AI `forgets' to roster pilots for London-Delhi flight "

And the opening para says all

" Mumbai:There are possibly a hundred ways an airline can lose money , but if an ailing carrier bleeds cash it calls for a special mention.This honour goes to Air India whose officials somehow forgot that an aircraft needed pilots to fly it! On Tuesday, an Air India Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft at London's Heathrow Airport lay dormant for close to 12 hours as there were no pilots to fly it back to Delhi. The cash-strapped airline had to accommodate around 200 passengers into hotels for the night. "

Followed was the fall out of the " high degree of professionalism " we Indians are so boastful of

"The airline operated its Delhi-London AI flight 111 as scheduled“But, on Tuesday , the departure did not take place at the scheduled hour as the airline had not positioned any pilots in London to operate the return leg to Delhi,“ sources said. "


" The pilots who operated the B787 Dreamliner flight into London could not be roped in as they had crossed their maximum permissible duty time. An AI spokesperson said: “Air India had operated B-777 aircraft on January 3, 4 and 5 to London to clear the holiday rush.Thereafter, from January 6, the aircraft was reverted to B-787 and the crew was scheduled accordingly . However, due to fog in Delhi, one of the flights was diverted to Mumbai, which led to lot of changes in crew movement.After giving the pilots minimum applicable rest and keeping in view the night curfew in London, the flight was rescheduled to January 7at 4am. Air India regrets inconvenience to passengers.“

My apologies for taking up 'FlightAware' space to highlight the Indian caliber . And we desire to be among the 8 global leaders !
jim russell 1
who needs the feds when the preacher makes his life being critical of all aircraft incidents..when is the last time you flew a aircraft ? 11,000 posts in 7 years. apparently a keyboard pilot.
preacher1 3
Last time I flew was 1st week in December, this year; checked my replacement in a 767, CRJ, and King Air b4 my cert went out, saving him a trip to AA's little class at DFW. Lots of layover time. I personally don't think 11000 posts is a big deal, but then I ain't counting and I ask again, not knowing you, I don't know what I have done to offend you, and not knowing, it's kinda hard to apologize, cause I might not want to. You see, I paid my dues with 19000 + hours and I feel like I have earned my right to speak as I please. This will make 11001.
" M Sathiyavathy is India's first woman DGCA "

This news story is noteworthy on certain facts contained therein. In terms of Indian inefficacy of bureaucracy . Peruse the following in particular

" ... Sathiyavathy , who is currently additional secretary and financial advisor in the aviation ministry and has a clean image, may , however, remain DG only for a few months ... "

and , a shameful achievement for a nation which is 4th in GDP and wants a permanent place in UNSC ,

" ... The US Federal Aviation Administration had last January downgraded the DGCA due to poor regulatory oversight.
After this first-ever downgrade on Friday , India is now among the 11 category II countries with weak aviation regulatory agencies that include Bangladesh, Barbados, Ghana, Nicaragua and a Caribbean island nation of 37,000 people, Sint Maarten. ... "

So much for lofty but hollow claims and the day is not far when any certification granted by DGCA, India , will be derecognized world over . Granted to men or machine !
Will they , Indian governing body , ever wake up ?
Perhaps they may if and when an Air India aircraft carrying the Indian President or the Prime Minister is refused entry OR is detained for detailed check ups . Forcing them to rethink ! Finally ! !
Too much of a wishful thinking ! Is it ?
The extremely high level of entropy of Indian bureaucracy continues to astound one and all . Peruse the following

" NO DGCA NOD - Equipped Dreamliners did not take off in fog "

some excerpts
1. " Air India passengers could have been the only ones to fly out of Delhi in airline's Dreamliners even as others faced flight delays owing to dense fog. But the AI's failure to get regulatory nod for a lower low visibility takeoff (LVTO) minima meant that the Boeing 787 too remained stuck on ground at IGI Airport ..... "
2. “We have been asking the DGCA repeatedly to lower the take off minima for our Dreamliners. But this clearance has not been given despite the fact that our Boeing 787s are the only aircraft in India to have HUD,“ an AI official said .......
3. " ... However, sources said the real reason of not being able to land B-787s using Cat II is that pairing of pilots -having both Cat II or III trained pilots in the cockpit of a flight -is not happening due to allegedly faulty rostering. "

At this rate will DGCA, India , ever be able get back the grade they have lost last year at the hands of FAA ?
preacher1 1
They can, but it will take some big steps. The aircraft and their capabilities are known. They will have to put the regulations out there and let the airlines go to them. Their problem then goes to enforcement. There is some credibility to the pilot qualifications but if that is the hang up, it needs to be out there rather than non existent aircraft fault.
Big steps ? Not in a thousand years .
A system which is incapable of taking baby steps can't be expected of taking any steps whatsoever .
We create plenty of bumps and bottlenecks at every step and turn !
We are incapable to overcome our inertia to act, a trait we regard so highly .
preacher1 1
Well, probably not in our lifetime or generation, but it will happen. Hang in there my friend.
And when that happens the minimas of efficiency would have changed and Indians will still be below that ! :-(
The story in the news item has confused me . And I have three questions.

" ... The Dreamliner aircraft is not III-B compliant, which means it cannot land in dense fog while other certified planes can. ... "
Q. 1 - Are aircrafts NOT inherently designed to be Category III compliant ? Is it very costly to make an aircraft Cat III compliant ?

" ... and this time the passengers were told that the pilot had reached his flight duty limit time (FDLT), which meant that a different pilot had to be arranged ... "
Q. 2 - If the aircraft is on ground and waiting , why should such hours be counted in duty hours limits ? The limits on hours are put to check over fatiguing ! No ? For extra hours the pilots can be paid overtime on a prefixed basis .

" .... . “DGCA hasn't given any Dreamliner aircraft CAT-III B certificate, ... "
" ... The regulator, on the other hand, blames AI for the delay in getting CatIII approval. ... "
Q. 3 - Who is at fault under such conflicting claims ?

Ever since the 1963 box office hit movie " The V.I.P.s " made the London fog notoriously famous, and winter fog in general , I guess, landing/take-off in fog has been one of the major concerns and challenges of the engineers and they have been toiling to invent/create systems to overcome the handicap faced by the pilots.
But to to what avail ?


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