A Jet Airways flight in August last year made a “blind” landing in Kerala in the seventh attempt after running low on fuel due to six earlier failed landing attempts due to bad weather in two cities. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had ordered a probe in the case in August 2015.
The Boeing 737, which was on its way from Doha to Kochi had failed in six landing attempts and made it on the seventh try in Thiruvananthapuram when it had very little fuel. As per the DGCA report to the government, the incident could have had “disastrous consequences”.
the cockpit voice recorder quoted the first officer as asking the commander whether he knows where the runway was and the later’s reply was, “Just going blindly.” When the plane was approaching Kochi for landing it had 4,844 kg fuel. It attempted the landing there three times but because of poor weather, the pilots could not see the runway and the fuel fell to 2,644 kg.
After that, the pilots tried to land in Thiruvananthapuram, where too three attempts were made. After this the crew took a sharp turn at a low height that set off the enhanced ground proximity warning system alarm in the cockpit. “The manoeuvre activated the EGPWS, which warned repeatedly, ‘Terrain, terrain pull up’. The captain continued the approach with all warnings and no visual contact of the runway,” the report said.
The Jet Airways said it was is extending co-operation to the agencies. In this event, while the airline took all possible steps, inclement weather at both the flight destination and the diverted destination created a situation which demanded that pilots apply all their training to ensure a safe landing.” After the incident, the captain of this flight was later demoted as co-pilot.