NEW DELHI: Two aviation experts expressed apprehension of something being ‘covered up’ or ‘concealed’ in the Kozhikode air crash, saying that the black box was found without any damage and that the preliminary report should have come much earlier.
The civil aviation ministry is yet to come out with any preliminary investigation report even after one month of the air crash. Incidentally, the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) had said that it would take five months to submit its final findings.
Aviation safety expert Captain Mohan Rangnathan said that it should not take more than 15 days to come out with a preliminary investigation report. “The recorders were available without any damage. The ATC tape was also available immediately. They should have come out with the preliminary report in 15 days. They are taking so much time which means that they want to cover up,” he claimed.
Rangnathan also raised questions on investigation reports by the AAIB. “If you look at the other reports that AAIB have been bringing out, the DFDR in final report should be in graphical form. Here, they are giving it in Table format which nobody can cross check. It is very obvious that they are not coming out with the truth.”
Officials had recovered digital flight data recorder and cockpit voice recorder from the Air India plane that crashed in Kozhikode within a day of the accident on August 7. These devices were with the AAIB and subsequently sent to Delhi for further investigation.
Aviation expert Yeshwant Shenoy asserted that most countries release preliminary enquiry report within a week of such accidents.
“It is a norm. Preliminary report is done to ensure that what was the cause. In this case, they got the Black Box without damage. How much time it would take to decode and come out with the preliminary enquiry? So, it clearly points out to one fact that they want to hide it. If they are taking one month time, it is unprofessional and incompetence.”
Even though the civil aviation ministry had ordered an investigation by the AAIB, many aviation safety experts had raised questions on the move.
They had suggested that there could be a conflict of interest and non-transparency in the probe as it operates under the supervision of the ministry itself.
Experts had also said that in the past, there was a deliberate effort on the part of the investigators to cover up serious violations of air regulations.