Indigo A320 at Mumbai on Mar 9th 2013, unreported runway excursion

Last Update: December 6, 2017 / 17:23:30 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Mar 9, 2013

Classification
Incident

Flight number
6E-433

Destination
Mumbai, India

Aircraft Registration
VT-IEW

Aircraft Type
Airbus A320

ICAO Type Designator
A320

An Indigo Airbus A320-200, registration VT-IEW performing flight 6E-433 from Chandigarh to Mumbai (India) with 143 passengers and 8 crew, landed on Mumbai's runway 27 at 18:13L (12:43Z) but veered left off the runway and went over soft ground, the crew managed to steer the aircraft back onto the runway however and taxied to the apron without reporting the runway excursion.

A regular runway inspection 8 minutes later detected 5 of the souther runway edge lights were broken and there were tyre tracks off the paved surface. The incident aircraft however could not immediately be identified. The runway was closed for about 110 minutes following the discovery until the debris was removed and the damaged lights were replaced.

India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) reported, that mud consistent with the tyre tracks at the southern edge of the runway was discovered on the wheels of VT-IEW, it was further found that mechanics had already replaced a wheel, the replaced wheel was confiscated. The crew is being questioned, an investigation has been opened.

The airline said, the aircraft encountered a sudden gust of wind and is said to have damaged runway edge lights. All 140 occupants are safe, the DGCA is investigating.

On Mar 20th 2013 the French BEA reported in their weekly bulletin that the aircraft veered left off the runway with the left main gear on the runway shoulder, the crew managed to return the aircraft onto the runway but the aircraft again veered to the left, this time the left main gear departed paved surface and went over soft ground, the crew again managed to return the aircraft onto the runway. 7 runway edge lights were damaged in the process. India's Accident Investigation Board is investigating the serious incident.

On Dec 6th 2017 India's DGCA released their final report concluding the probable causes were:

The Captain got disoriented about the aircraft position with respect to runway centre line, which resulted in loss of situational awareness.

Improper use of the rudder inputs by the Captain to achieve the desired aircraft trajectory contributed to the incident.

The DGCA reported that the captain (28, ATPL, 3,071 hours total, 2,748 hours on type) was pilot flying, the first officer (30, ATPL, 2,274 hours total, 2,024 hours on type) was pilot monitoring. The approach in strong cross wind had been stabilized until touchdown. The aircraft touched down slightly left of the runway center line, then veered further left, the left main gear rolled over two runway edge lights, then rolled parallel to the runway edge line close to the runway shoulder, then departed the paved surface and rolled over soft ground until the aircraft was steered back onto the runway, further 5 runway edge lights were destroyed in that process. While the aircraft was rolling near and beyond the left runway shoulder the first officer called the captain by name and pointed out the runway center line, but received no reply. The first officer then announced "I have control" to which the captain responded "I have control".

ATC instructed to vacate the runway via taxiway N8, the crew requested to vacate via N9 but did not report any anomaly. When tower queried why they had not maintained the runway center line, the crew replied "strong crosswind".

Later the airport performed a runway inspection and found broken runway edge lights between taxiways N7 and N8, no aircraft had reported any occurrence. Tower advised that the Indigo flight had reported strong crosswind and appeared to be off the runway centerline. When the airport authority arrived at the stand they found that works to replace a damaged tyre of the aircraft had already begun.

The DGCA wrote: "On arrival of the aircraft at bay, the attending AME of the airline, who was deputed to carry-out transit inspection, carried out a walk-around inspection of the aircraft. During inspection, deep cuts and glass pieces embedded on #1 Main Wheel were found. In the meantime, technician came and informed the AME that the cockpit crew has called them in the cockpit. The engineer then brought to the knowledge of the cockpit crew that there are pieces of glass embedded in the # 1 Wheel and the same has been found deflated. As per the AME, till then, the crew has not written any incident report or had made any entry in the Pilot’s Defect Report (PDR). The crew then made the entry in the Tech-Log ‘Landed RWY 27, Strong cross-wind, aircraft kept veering to left, had to use tiller to remain on centre."

The aircraft sustained damage to the #1 tyre (outboard left main), 7 runway edge lights were damaged.

The DGCA analysed: "The DFDR readout showed that immediately after touch-down, left rudder pedal inputs led the aircraft to deviate to the left (aircraft on the left of the LOC beam). During the next 30 seconds, pilot applied several rudder pedal inputs up to the max left and right sides. The LOC deviation increased to reach a maximum of 123 (aircraft on the left of the runway). During that time several brake pedal inputs were also applied on both sides. The justification of the pilot that there were heavy cross winds could not be corroborated with other evidences. The Captain though was on controls but was unaware of the actions he was taking. He has deviated from the centerline and reached the extreme left which might have been due to loss of situational awareness."

Metars:
VABB 091440Z 00000KT 3000 FU NSC 31/11 Q1010 NOSIG
VABB 091340Z 34003KT 3500 FU NSC 31/12 Q1009 BECMG 3000 FU
VABB 091310Z 32006KT 3500 FU NSC 32/11 Q1009 BECMG 3000 FU
VABB 091240Z 32008KT 3500 FU NSC 32/12 Q1009 NOSIG
VABB 091210Z 30008KT 3500 FU NSC 33/14 Q1009 NOSIG
VABB 091140Z 31009KT 4000 FU NSC 33/12 Q1009 NOSIG
VABB 091110Z 32011KT 4000 FU NSC 33/12 Q1009 NOSIG
VABB 091040Z 29010KT 4000 FU NSC 33/12 Q1009 NOSIG
VABB 091010Z 28010KT 4000 FU NSC 33/14 Q1009 NOSIG
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Mar 9, 2013

Classification
Incident

Flight number
6E-433

Destination
Mumbai, India

Aircraft Registration
VT-IEW

Aircraft Type
Airbus A320

ICAO Type Designator
A320

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