Tail strikes, tyrebursts top pilot errors

Tail strikes and tyrebursts of aircraft on account of pilot error while landing or take-off are among the main reasons for suspension of pilot licences in the past one year from January 2011 to February 2012.

Tail strikes refer to the tail of the aircraft hitting the runway while taking off or landing. For instance, according to the government statistics, the licences of two pilots were suspended due to a tail strike incident involving a SpiceJet aircraft in Delhi on February 7, 2011.

The licence of two other pilots were also suspended, again after an incident pertaining to a SpiceJet aircraft, when the aircraft had a tail strike at Delhi on February 19, 2011. The licences of two more pilots were suspended after the SpiceJet aircraft they were piloting had a tail strike at Guwahati on July 19, 2011.

After another incident of tail strike, this time involving an Air India Express, that took place at Kochi on August 28, 2011, after which the licences of two pilots were suspended by the DGCA.

Tyreburst incidents also accounted for a significant number of incidents. Two pilots had their licences suspended after a tyreburst incident of a Jet Airways aircraft at Kochi on February 17, 2011. The licences of two Kingfisher pilots were also suspended by the DGCA after a tyreburst at Trichy airport on October 7, 2011.

Again, a tyre-deflation incident involving an Air India Express aircraft at Salalah (West Asia) on November 3, 2011, led to the suspension of licences of the two pilots.

There were other errors too committed by pilots in other cases which again led to the suspension of licences. These include air-proximity (breach of minimum separation between two aircraft) due to wrong approach, improper landing incident caused by lack of adequate control over aircraft and rejection of take-off (aborting take-off of aircraft at high speed).

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