Friday, August 14, 2020

To: Aircraft Investigators Working on the Air India Express Crash

Via Bloomberg
If this anonymous source article is correct, I would respectfully ask investigators to reconsider.
I know that at least several airline investigators read this blog based on feedback I have received pertaining to articles I have written about past air crashes and incidents. The information in the article, if true, concerns me. It is possible weather is being prematurely ruled out. 

The article says that the "tailwind" was blowing at 12 to 13 knots. However, planes are supposed to land into the wind (headwind conditions). A 15 mph tailwind, by itself, may have been a factor in aircraft touching down in the middle, rather than the end (where it is supposed to be) of the runway.

Second, the fact the wind was blowing at 12 to 13 knots at the primary weather station is not necessarily an indication that there wasn't a microburst on the landing runway. I was an expert witness in the crash of USAir 1016 in 1994. The center-field (primary) weather station did not detect the microburst; it was too small. The same was true of the crash of Delta 191 in Dallas. There were 100 mph microburst winds that caused the crash, while the winds were light at the primary weather station. 

As far as I have been able to determine, there is no weather radar at the Calicut International Airport, so that is not available to understand the accident. 

I readily concede that I don't know what caused the accident. My only point is to ask the investigators not to prematurely rule weather out as a factor. 

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