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Small crafts suffer most ' bad weather' mishaps.

METEOROLOGICAL scientists have suggested mandatory weather training for pilots of small aircraft, particularly those hired privately, as every fifth air accident in the country is weatherrelated and large number of such planes are privately- owned.

As many as 21 per cent of total aircraft accidents in India during 1992-- 2008 were weatherrelated, and about 56 per cent of accidents occurring due to bad weather involved a private or business aircraft, a new study has revealed. The data was sourced from the director general of civil aviation ( DGCA).

Aircraft and helicopters used in private and business operations are mainly of non- scheduled type and smaller in size. Their capability to withstand severe weather conditions is also limited. In addition, they lack on- board weather radars and other navigational aids usually available in scheduled passenger flights. They mostly operate based on Visual Flight Rule, in contrast to bigger passenger aircraft which operate in Instrument Flight Rules. All this makes smaller planes more accident- prone.

Of all the accidents in the two decades since 1990, the highest percentage of accidents occurred in private or business aircraft touching ( 32 per cent), followed for training flight operation( 26 per cent) and other non- scheduled operations ( 22 per cent).

The annual number of weatherrelated accidents has declined.

However, the ratio of annual number of weather- related accidents to that of total accidents has not shown any systematic trend, the analysis done by Dr Rajendra K. Jenamani, head of airport met office of IMD, has shown. The study results have been published in journal Current Science.

" As most private aircraft have limited on- board meteorological and other avionic navigational aid and operate in visual flight rule, they are more likely accidentprone compared to bigger aircraft during bad weather," Jenamani pointed out. The situation, he said, could get better with further improvement in weather monitoring and dissemination systems, mandatory weather training for pilots and greater coordination among different agencies.


On July 27, 2000, Alliance Air flight CD- 7412 crashed at Patna airport, killing 60 people

On May 22, 2010, Air India Express Flight 812 crashed at Mangalore airport, killing 158

At least 66 people have been killed in air crashes in the North- East during the past one decade. Of them, at least 47 were in Arunachal Pradesh alone during the past 10 years

On May 25, 2011, a Pilatus air ambulance crashed on a residential colony in Faridabad, killing its seven occupants

On September 2, 2009, Andhra CM Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy was killed when the Bell 430 helicopter he was travelling in crashed

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:Feb 19, 2013
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