Many fatal accidents in history, hundreds of casualties caused aviation rules to be written very clearly. One of the most fatal accidents in history was the Charkhi Dadri disaster.
In the aviation industry, high-tech aircraft and airports equipped with advanced systems are used to keep the error close to zero. There is also a dynamic environment for talented employees who have received quality training.
Nowadays, although flight safety has reached very high levels, these levels of security have been achieved through measures taken in the aftermath of major accidents and casualties. The word Hav rules are written in blood “which is a common term in aviation has shown us its accuracy in the most bitter form from time to time.
November 12, 1996, was one of those days when the rules were written:
New Delhi Airport, the capital of India, was one of the regions where the most intense air traffic was experienced in those years. On 12 November 1996, according to the statements of the air traffic control (ATC), the traffic was very intense. Air traffic controller V.K. Dutta was the person responsible for the safe flying of several aircraft at the same time.
New Delhi Airport had only one radar. Air traffic controllers were able to see the locations of the planes in two dimensions, so they did not know at which altitude the planes were flying. They had to stay in touch with the pilots to get the altitude information, but they also couldn’t check the accuracy of the information they gave. Trust was everything.
A Boeing 747 from Saudi Arabia and IL-76 aircraft from Kazakhstan was at New Delhi Airport:
ATC Dutta, a radar officer, was in constant contact with the aircraft he was in charge of, providing them with information about the altitudes to which they would be flying. After giving the Boeing 747 altitude information, the controller informed the other aircraft, IL-76, that it should follow.
The officer shared with the pilots that both aircraft were flying towards each other and that there would be a distance of only 300 meters between them:
The Boeing 747 pilots, listening to the attendant, came to the altitude and continued to fly stably. The IL-76 aircraft on the other side was a yogu plane that was converted from an old military aircraft. Therefore, the cockpit of the aircraft, which had a slightly different cabin design, contained three people at the same time. While the pilots were involved in the flight, the person sitting sideways at the back of the pilots was responsible for establishing contacts with the tower.
The flight engineer in the back seat, notifying the pilots of the altitude from the tower, had to make some effort to look at the indicators in front of the pilots.
Boeing 747 was heading towards the altitude. As a matter of fact, there was a problem in IL-76:
The IL-76, which had to fly 300 meters above the 747 jumbo jet, was descending rapidly. Realizing the situation, the flight engineer told the pilots that they were at the wrong altitude and urgently needed to rise.
At that time they saw a giant airplane in front of them: Even though the pilots made their last move, the plane did not reach a sufficient height:
The air traffic controller could still not see the height of the aircraft on its radar. Both planes had lost their signal. At that time, another military aircraft flying in the area told the tower that he had seen a gigantic explosion ünde in the sky; There are two planes falling towards the ground.
Bitter painting: No survivors from both aircraft:
Search and rescue operations were initiated immediately for the planes crashing into Charki Dadri, a town in the west of New Delhi. Reaching the region, teams froze against the sight they saw. The wreckage of the planes was almost buried underground. The effort to find the living resulted in a negative.
And what actually caused the accident?
While the world was shaken by the news of the accident, the accident research teams immediately started their efforts to reach the black boxes. The pieces were buried so deep that they had to bring construction machinery to the site in order to excavate. The cause of the accident was not found for months. Kazakhstan Airlines claimed that its planes entered severe turbulence and therefore descended rapidly.
Thanks to the black boxes obtained at the end of long studies, detailed investigations were made. Cockpit sound recordings were listened and the maneuvers performed by the aircraft just before the accident were examined. The research team agreed that the Boeing 747 had fulfilled all instructions given and maintained the flight at the right altitude. The Kazakh airline had problems with the aircraft.
Listening to the audio recordings revealed that the pilots were confused about the commands from the ATC because their English was not good enough. The pilots continued to descend, assuming that the altitude information given to Boeing 747 was given to them. The flight
A total of 349 people were killed in the disaster. The cause of the accident has been discovered, but the information obtained has a much more shocking impact:
The controllers, who could not see the altitude of the planes because of the only radar at the airport, wrote down the information given by the pilots and took notes. In fact, in those years, radar technology providing altitude information was used in many airports. New Delhi Airport management had already bought this radar. According to the plans, the radar had to be installed exactly two weeks before the accident. If this system had been installed, the air traffic controller would be able to see the movements of the aircraft, warn them early and prevent a disaster.
Another ring added to the chain of errors was the lack of the TCAS warning system that should be included in the aircraft. The pilots therefore continued to fly without any idea of the oncoming aircraft.
- Note: The TCAS system prevents aircraft from colliding in the air. It warns the pilots by providing more information such as the traffic situation, the direction of the incoming aircraft. TCAS plays an important role in preventing accidents by giving voice commands such as ç descend and ascend de if necessary.
After this tragedy, the second radar system was installed at New Delhi Airport. The TCAS system has been made compulsory on almost all aircraft. Trainings and necessities about language were increased in order to prevent communication problems between the teams. All these measures have helped to make aviation the safest way of transportation, but unfortunately hundreds of people had to die to make certain rules.