India A20N at Male on Sep 7th 2018, landed on runway under construction

Last Update: September 4, 2019 / 14:02:35 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Sep 7, 2018

Classification
Incident

Airline
Air India

Flight number
AI-263

Destination
Male, Maldives

Aircraft Registration
VT-EXL

Aircraft Type
Airbus A320-200N

ICAO Type Designator
A20N

Airport ICAO Code
VRMM

An Air India Airbus A320-200N, registration VT-EXL performing flight AI-263 from Thiruvananthapuram (India) to Male (Maldives) with 136 people on board, was cleared to land on Male's runway 18 at about 15:26L (10:26Z) however touched down on the parallel runway under construction to the left of runway 18. The aircraft rolled out and stopped on the not yet runway. There were no injuries, the aircraft is reported to have sustained damage to tyres and brakes.

The airline reported one of the main tyres deflated when the aircraft landed on the runway under construction in Male. The serious incident was immediately reported to Maldives' and India's CAAs.

Maldives' CAA have not yet commented on the occurrence.

The aerodrome chart, dated Dec 8th 2016, released by AIP Maldives as current plate does not make any mention of the new runway under construction, which by pictorial evidence already has its marking on with crossing (runway closed) markers, the surface however had not been cleared from debris so far.

On Sep 4th 2019 Maldives' CAA released their final report concluding the probable causes of the serious incident were:

- This was the first time the PIC made an approach to runway 18 at VIA. He was unaware of the NOTAM with regard to the runway under construction.

- The Co-Pilot, although was aware of the NOTAM issued regarding the runway under construction at VIA, did not share the information with the PIC.

- The Flight Crew seeing the Markings on the runway under construction, Co-Pilot reported to ATC “Runway In Sight” at 4 miles and continued to approach and landed on he runway under onstruction. The crew did not realise the mistake until Touch Down and ere informed by he ATC.

- Standard arrival route via which the aircraft was initially cleared was not revised or cancelled when the aircraft requested for a VOR approach to RWY18.

- The aircraft was neither cleared to, nor radar vectored to any of the approach fixes associated with any of the two VOR instrument procedures for RWY18.

- Male’ Aerodrome Control personnel on duty at the Tower were seen to be completely distracted when Air India flight AIC263 landed on the runway under construction.

- Runway markings on runway under constructions were painted but were not obliterated in accordance with Annex 14 and Air Safety Circular ASC 139-5.

- From the investigations it becomes clear that this Serious Incident occurred due to confusion of Runway in Operation and the runway under construction.

The CAA reported the crew was assigned standard arrival route MUGBA 3B ARR with an expectation to perform a RNAV approach to runway 18. The crew requested a VOR approach and was advised to expect that approach.

Later into the approach the aircraft was cleared to descend to 4000 feet and to turn left direct to waypoint URDIV, then was cleared for the RNAV 18 approach. The crew requested and was cleared the VOR approach and was handed off to the tower.

The CAA continued to write: "On initial contact with Male’ Tower AIC263 was instructed to continue approach to runway 18. Further descent was approved when requested and the aircraft was asked to report seven miles final for runway 18. Landing clearance to AIC263 was issued before the aircraft reported seven miles final with instruction to vacate runway after landing via taxiway ‘B’. Approximately three minutes after landing clearance was issued Male Tower noticed AIC263 had landed on a runway that was under construction, located to the east of runway in use and advised the aircraft it had landed on the wrong runway."

The aircraft sustained damage to a left hand main tyre.

The captain (30, ATPL, 4,906 hours total, 4,706 hours on type) was pilot flying, the first officer (24, CPL, 1,766 hours total, 1,566 hours on type) was pilot monitoring.

The CAA summarized the testimonies of both flight crew:

The Commander and PF stated the flight from Trivandrum was normal. They approached to land runway 18. During the approach to land, they could see the runway markings were very bright and clear. He stated that at that time, he could not see the old runway, may be because they were coming from the left of the runway, and the markings on the old runway were not conspicuous as those on the new runway. There was a 15 knots cross wind from the right. In addition, due to the nose direction of the aircraft, the new runway was more visible. He never thought that they were aligned towards to the wrong runway. He stated that the cross markings were not close to the threshold. He saw the “cross markings” when the aircraft speed was around 100 knots.

He stated that the touchdown was normal. Around 100 knots, they crossed a white colour cloth and he could feel a slight bump. Right after they crossed the white cloth, ATC informed that they landed on a wrong runway. Then he shut down the engines.

He was not aware that there were two runways. From the chart that he had, there was only one runway.

It was his fourth or fifth time he flew to VIA, however, it was his first time to runway 18. His last flight to VIA was around 3 or 4 months ago.

He was not aware of the NOTAM issued regarding the construction of the new runway.

The First Officer stated they descended to 2000 Ft before commencing the final approach.

She noticed that ‘18’ was not marked on the runway but the displaced threshold markings were clear. However, it was not so clear whether it was closed or open. She did not see the other runway at all. However, she realised that it was not the correct runway approximately when they were about to touch down when she saw the white colour thing. She was informed by the Commander that the left main wheel was stuck with something and later they were informed by an engineer that the wheel was damaged.

She stated that dispatch briefing were done remotely. Pilots were given all the documents and they were supposed to study them. She was aware about NOTAM regarding the closed runway.

It was her second or third time she flew into VIA and she has once landed on runway 18. Her last flight into VIA was around 4 months ago.

Both the Commander and the First Officer stated that they were not aware that it was the wrong runway until they were about to land.

Related NOTAM:
Q) VRMF/QFAXX/IV/NBO/A/000/999/0412N07332E005
A) VRMM
B) 1809041004
C) 1812041859
E) PAVEMENT AND ASPHALT LAYING WIP ON NEW RWY
AND TWY APRX 190M TO THE EAST OF THE EXISTING
RWY18/36 CENTRELINE. NEW RWY AND TWY MARKED
AS CLSD AS NEW RWY IS VISIBLE. PILOTS TO EXER CTN.
REFER AIC 04/17

Metars:
VRMM 071300Z 27006KT 9999 FEW018TCU SCT110 28/23 Q1011 TEMPO 5000 -SHRA=
VRMM 071200Z 30007KT 9999 FEW018 FEW019CB BKN110 25/23 Q1010 CB E,S TEMPO 5000 -SHRA=
VRMM 071000Z 26012KT 9999 SCT018TCU SCT120 31/24 Q1010 NOSIG=
VRMM 070900Z 25012KT 9999 SCT018TCU 31/24 Q1010 NOSIG=
VRMM 070800Z 25009KT 9999 FEW018 SCT280 31/24 Q1011 NOSIG=
VRMM 070700Z 25010KT 9999 FEW018 FEW019CB SCT120 31/24 Q1012 CB N NOSIG=
VRMM 070600Z 24009KT 9999 FEW018TCU BKN120 31/24 Q1013 NOSIG=
VRMM 070500Z 25008KT 9999 FEW018TCU BKN110 31/24 Q1013 NOSIG=
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Sep 7, 2018

Classification
Incident

Airline
Air India

Flight number
AI-263

Destination
Male, Maldives

Aircraft Registration
VT-EXL

Aircraft Type
Airbus A320-200N

ICAO Type Designator
A20N

Airport ICAO Code
VRMM

This article is published under license from Avherald.com. © of text by Avherald.com.
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