Monday, Jul 14, 2003
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This Day That Age
The Court of Enquiry into the crash of the Air India Dakota plane near Delhi airport in the early hours of May 9 said: "An error of judgment on the part of the pilot flying as co-pilot appears to be the cause of the crash. Supernumerary co-pilot R.S. Postwala executed a steep star-board turn, could not come out of the over-banked position in time because of the low altitude of the plane, and so caused the crash resulting in the death of all the crew and the 13 passengers."
The Court consisted of Mr. Sankar Saran, retired Judge of the Allahabad High Court , Chairman and Mr. V.B. Gandhi, MP, and Mr. D. Chakraverti, Deputy Director-General of Civil Aviation, members. Mr. B.S. Gidwani acted as Secretary, eighty-six witnesses were examined, nine more than once. Various possible causes for the crash including operational safety of Dakota aircraft, structural failure, engine failure, damage by storm, caged artificial horizon, cockpit light failure, auto pilot in `On' position, faulty loading, fire, lightning, strike, hitting an object in the air, shortage of fuel, drunkenness of flying crew, sabotage, locked ailerons, crew failure, sensory illusion, and pilot's error of judgment, were considered by the Court.
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