Mangalore crash report out: Sleepy captain was just one of the reasons

Co-pilot (6:03:35):

It's too high!

(6:03:42): Runway straight down.

Captain (6:03:43):

Oh my God

Okay

Co-pilot (06:03:54):

Go around?

Captain (06:03:56):

wrong loc.. localizer

Co-pilot (06:04:06):

Go around

(06:04:07): Captain

(06:04:12): Un-stabilised

(06:04:38): Go around Captain

(06:04:44): We don't have runway left

Captain (06:04:54): Oh my God

(06:04:59): awwww. Big One!

(06:05:00): Ohhhh

At this point, 6:05:00 am on May 22, 2010, the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) went blank. The Captain, soon after touchdown, attempted to take off again against air safety norms and failed. Few minutes later, Air India Express IX 812 overshot the tabletop runway at Mangalore's Bajpe airport, its right wing hit a concrete structure supporting the antennae, crashed into the boundary fence and fell into the gorge below.

Within seconds, the flight from Dubai was a ball of fire, claiming 158 lives on board. Eight passengers survived.

The final investigation report has held the Captain's failure to execute a safe landing as 'the direct cause of accident'. The report, which has been accepted by the government, said Captain Zlatko Glusica, who was in command during take-off from Dubai and landing at Mangalore, carried on with the "unstabilised approach" during landing and ignored both the first officer's (HS Ahluwalia) three calls to 'go around' and several warnings to 'PULL UP' and 'SINK RATE' from the Enhanced Ground Proximity Warning System (EGPWS).

Being at an altitude much higher than mandatory, the aircraft lost considerable runway length during descent, left with little to brake. EGPWS alerts the pilots in case the aircraft is in danger of flying into the ground or an obstacle. Unstabilised approach means the aircraft did not follow the prescribed speed, descent rate or vertical/lateral flight path parameters at the time of landing.

Despite adequate rest period prior to the flight for him and the co-pilot, the Captain was found sleeping for the first one hour and forty minutes out of the total two-hour and five minutes recorded on the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR), the report said. "As a result of relatively short period of time between his awakening and the approach, it possibly led to impaired judgement," the report said.

... contd.

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