Pilots of the SpiceJet aircraft had expressed concerns about the dependability of the plane’s radar three months prior to the flight into the thunderstorm that badly injured 14 passengers, according to AAIB.
Flaws in SpiceJet radar system
Additionally, the examination revealed that SpiceJet’s maintenance control centre (MCC) was informed of the radar’s dependability problem.
A SpiceJet representative denied that the radar had any flaws. “This data is incorrect. The regulator has received the investigation report for the mentioned matter. No evidence of a malfunctioning weather radar was found,” added the spokeswoman.
Incidents due to radar’s dependability problem
On May 1, a Boeing 737-800 with 195 passengers was travelling from Mumbai to Durgapur when it experienced extreme turbulence because of the thunderstorm.
The AAIB was given the investigation into the incident since it was determined to be an accident because there were serious injuries to the passengers. Two of the 14 passengers and three members of the cabin crew who were hurt had significant spine and shoulder injuries and were hospitalised.
Within 30 days following the occurrence, a preliminary report was submitted to assess the scope of the investigation and request the required funding. The final report must be submitted in accordance with AAIB regulations within a year following the incident.
According to a person familiar with the procedure, the final report was created in accordance with AAIB guidelines, which call for consultation with various parties, including the airline, airports, the manufacturer of the aircraft, and the Federal Aviation Administration given that Boeing is a US company.
On April 30, while flying from Delhi to Kolkata, the pilots of the aircraft, VT-SLH, discovered that the radar was not accurately showing the weather. After touching down in Kolkata, the aircraft’s commander recorded the problem in the report on pilot defects (PDR).
While a Kolkata-based aircraft maintenance engineer tested the weather radar’s functionality and declared it to be OK, the crew of the aircraft discovered the same issue on the subsequent flight from Kolkata to Mumbai.
“The actual weather’s severity and scope were not depicted on the weather radar. It was giving a very limited, maybe inaccurate, picture of the weather. The flight crew noted in the PDR that although the weather radar was functional, it was not showing any airborne weather conditions after landing in Mumbai”The report says
The Maintenance Control Centre (MCC) was notified of the problem by a maintenance engineer in Mumbai. According to the draught report, the engineer was informed that they were aware of the dependability issue and that there was a shortage of expensive spares, such as weather radar.
He performed an operational check as directed by the MCC and discovered that the weather radar patterns were satisfactory. He then informed the MCC to keep an eye on the aircraft, according to the report.
A SpiceJet spokeswoman claimed that sufficient funds were being set aside for regular aircraft maintenance. From July 9 to July 13, 2022, “DGCA performed a series of spot checks on all running SpiceJet aircraft but found no major noteworthy findings or safety violations.”
Join our telegram group for latest Aviation Updates:-