Terming this year's incident of locust attacks "highly unusual" which was last seen 20 years back, the aviation regulator has advised the pilots to be mindful of locust attacks during the landing and take-off of the aircraft as they fly close to the ground.
Amidst the relentless loss of standing crops to the swarm of locusts, the Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has expressed concern over the fatal danger the locust attacks pose to the flying aircraft. Terming this year’s incident of locust attacks “highly unusual” which was last seen 20 years back, the aviation regulator has advised the pilots to be mindful of locust attacks during the landing and take-off of the aircraft as they fly close to the ground.
All the air intake parts of the aircraft will be prone to ingestion of a large number of locust when the plane flies through them which could lead to their malfunctioning, reads the advisory issued by the DGCA. It also said that the bunch of locusts could also block the forward vision of the Pilot at the critical juncture of landing and take off. It also added that the use of wipers to clear the vision could also prove counter-productive as it may lead to the spread of the smear further on the screen.
In addition to advising pilots to avoid the locust as far as possible, the regulator has also instructed the Air Traffic Controller to share information about the presence of locust with all departing and arriving flights and their respective pilots. In the worst-case scenario of aircraft flying through the swarm of locust, the regulator has asked the concerned pilot to report the incident to airport authorities immediately including any observed malfunctioning in the aircraft. Engineering crew at the airport has also been asked to complete a thorough check of the aircraft before its next flight.
Mindful of the risk to the stationery aircraft parked on the runway, the regulator has also asked the airport authorities to cover all the air intake parts of the plane. It also observed that all the stakeholders will have to be extra vigilant during the day time when the incidence of locust attacks are most likely.