Air India Reports “Air Turn Back”: Second Such Incident in Three Weeks

Alan Lebeda (GFDL 1.2 or GFDL 1.2 ), via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – Air India flight AI 675 from Mumbai (BOM) to Kolkata (CCU) performed an “Air Turn Back” on 17th May. This is the second incident reported by the airline in the last three weeks.

The Indian Aviation regulator DGCA has initiated a probe into the incident.

On 17th May 2022, an Airbus A320 belonging to Air India departed from Mumbai International Airport at 06:26 AM IST, soon after take-off the pilots noticed there was a “Cargo Door Warning” displayed after which the pilots decided to initiate “Air Turn Back” and landed back safely at Mumbai International Airport at 6:49 AM IST, and this incident was then reported to DGCA as per the norms.

“Air Turn back” is a procedure when an aircraft returns to its departing airport without it being pre-planned by the crew.

But soon after the aircraft landed back at the airport, the incident was inspected by the flight engineers, and it was found to be a false warning.

A flight Captain with Air India said “In this instance, the pilot in charge probably did not cross-check with other parameters which would have revealed that there was actually no abnormality.

If there was, as in this instance, an indication of the cargo door not being closed properly, and if the warning was genuine, the cabin would have started depressurizing.

If there was no depressurization, it is a clear indication that the warning was spurious.”.

It is also being said that despite having such an experienced crew on board this incident took place because these pilots had just undergone training for the A320 type and transitioned from the B777 type.

A similar incident was reported 3 weeks back when an Air India flight from Bengaluru International Airport to New Delhi returned to the Departure airport due to a warning on Electronic Control and Monitoring (ECAM), the investigation is currently underway for both of these incidents and DGCA will publish its report on the same soon.

A Lot Going on in Air India…

Operationally, a lot has been going on at Air India.

Earlier this month, the TATA Group announced it would appoint a new CEO for the Indian flag carrier, as well as the carrier bidding to take over the remaining stake in Air Asia India.

Back in March, it was reported that Air India’s $10bn order for Airbus A350 aircraft was looking extremely likely, as the airline is aiming to position itself out of the woes it has previously been in.

On top of this, the airline has been making strategic decisions such as the divorce from Alliance Air.

Overall, Air India is undergoing a lot of change at present, and one of the things it will need to look at is the safety-based integrity of its fleet, especially with aircraft undergoing emergencies more frequently.

But for now, the airline is doing all it can to ensure that it comes out on top, especially against competitors such as IndiGo, Vistara, and eventually Jet Airways and Akasa Air.

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