India A20N at Chennai on Nov 13th 2020, rejected takeoff from wrong runway

Last Update: November 8, 2022 / 19:33:44 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Nov 13, 2020

Classification
Incident

Airline
Air India

Flight number
AI-554

Destination
Delhi, India

Aircraft Registration
VT-EXM

Aircraft Type
Airbus A320-200N

ICAO Type Designator
A20N

An Air India Airbus A320-200N, registration VT-EXM performing flight AI-554 from Chennai to Delhi (India), was cleared for takeoff from runway 25, however, began accelerating for takeoff from runway 30. Tower observed the aircraft accelerating on the wrong runway and immediately instructed the crew to stop. The crew rejected takeoff. There were no injuries and no damage.

India's AIB rated the occurrence a serious incident and opened an investigation.

India's AIB released their final report concluding the probable cause of the serious incident is:

The incident occurred due to loss of situational awareness of the flight crew, wherein, the PF started rolling the aircraft on the unassigned runway without ascertaining the intended runway with the available visual cues and improper monitoring of the instruments for the intended runway by PM.

Contributory Factors

- Not discussing Hotspots (Hotspot 4) during the taxi briefing.

- Crew not observing the aircraft ‘Heading’ when lining up the aircraft on runway 30 (heading 299°) which was not in line with the intended runway 25 (Heading 251).

- The crew in a hurry to complete the flight and return home due to festival in mind.

- Crew also showing urgency to clear the runway as at the back of their mind they had that there is another aircraft on finals for landing.

- Take-off from runway 25/runway30 intersection which crew were not aware at that time.

- Take-off clearance was given (for runway 25 not runway 30) when the PF was lining up the aircraft on unassigned runway i.e., Runway 30 which added to the PFs belief that it was the intended runway.

The AIB analysed:

The aircraft was initially given taxi clearance for departure from Runway 25 via Intersection ‘C’. However, the crew in order to have better take-off performance requested Intersection ‘A’ for departure. The crew did not discuss ‘Hotspot 4’ during their taxi briefing. Accordingly, taxi clearance was given by the ATC as per the SOP issued by AAI in this regard. This led to crew being confused, as the departure clearance was given for runway 25 but the taxi instructions given by the ATC mentioned “HOLD AT HOLDING POINT RUNWAY THREE ZERO ON ‘A’ ”. However, the confusion was cleared when the crew confirmed with ATC about the departure runway. The ATC (Ground as well as Tower) had always mentioned ‘Runway 25’ in all of its call out given to the aircraft in respect of clearance for departure runway. The aircraft was given continuous taxi and the lineup clearance (for runway 25) was also given while the aircraft was taxing. After crossing holding point on ‘A’ the PF turned the aircraft and lined up on runway 30. Due to loss of situational awareness the PF did not observe any visual cues such as runway 30 edge lights (which were blue), runway signage, etc. available at that time to ascertain the intended runway for departure. The PM who was busy in head down duties also did not confirm the runway with instruments. Moreover, the PF also confirmed the take-off runway (as runway 25) without actually ascertaining the same during the before take-off checklist. The take-off clearance was given by the ATC (for runway 25) when the PF was aligning the aircraft on runway 30. Due to this and various other factors the PF at the back of his mind thought that the first runway visible would be the intended runway for departure. This led PF to start rolling the aircraft on the unassigned runway i.e., runway 30 before ATC instructed it to cancel the take-off.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Nov 13, 2020

Classification
Incident

Airline
Air India

Flight number
AI-554

Destination
Delhi, India

Aircraft Registration
VT-EXM

Aircraft Type
Airbus A320-200N

ICAO Type Designator
A20N

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