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One-Two-Go crash probe points to wind shear, pilot decision

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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One-Two-Go crash probe points to wind shear, pilot decision | Thaiger

BANGKOK (Nation): The probe into the crash of One-Two-Go flight OG029 points to wind shear and the pilot’s decision to land despite weather warnings as likely causes, the air crash investigation committee has announced.

“The initial finding, which encompasses the weather conditions at the time of the accident, communications between the tower and the crashed plane’s pilot as well as other witnesses points to a single conclusion,” said Chaisawat Kittipornpaiboon, permanent secretary of the Transport Ministry and chairman of the committee.

“However, we can’t confirm this until we get the black box decoding result. So far, there has been no contradictory report from the black box,” he told reporters after a meeting of aviation-related organizations.

The evidence showed the pilot and aircraft were in good condition, he said.

Radio communications between the tower and the pilot of an Orient Thai Airlines MD82 plane that landed four minutes before OG029 showed there was wind shear and the pilot had asked controllers to alert the next plane due to land.

The tower duly informed the OG029 pilot of weather and runway conditions, but it could not bar him from landing as that was his decision, he said.

Analysis of the black box should be completed tomorrow and the committee would reconvene and compare the data with its initial finding.

If the two sources did not contradict, the panel would seek the transport minister’s permission to reveal the official cause of the accident to the public, probably early next month.

Otherwise, experts would be appointed for an in-depth analysis and that would take a while.

Attending the meeting were the Civil Aviation Department, Airports of Thailand Plc, Thai Airways International, Aeronautical Radio of Thailand, Civil Aviation Training Center and Thai Pilots’ Association.

Air Vice-Marshall Vinai Plengvithaya, deputy director of air inspection and vice chairman of the committee, noted that in inspecting an air crash wreckage should be maintained in its original condition. However, in the OG029 case, all evidence had not been collected because the debris was removed to help the injured and clear the runway.

If the black box yielded data at odds with the initial finding, the Air Force will need to go to Phuket and gather more evidence, he said.

“In this investigation, we have applied the ‘3-M concept’: ‘Man’, which is pilot; ‘Material’ or the plane; and ‘Media’ or communications between the tower and pilot. In this case, our focus is inclined to the ‘Media’ factor,” he said.

Vuttichai Singhamanee, director of the Civil Aviation Department’s Flight Safety Standards Bureau, said that from his checks the MD82 aircraft which served OG029 was in good shape, as the pilot did not report any problems prior the accident. The Indonesian captain also met safety requirements, as he had flown only five hours on the fateful day.

To fly a commercial plane, pilots must be free from alcohol for at least eight hours before takeoff and must not fly more than eight hours per day or 110 hours per month or 1,000 hours per year. Pilots aged over 40 must have a medical check-up twice a year.

K. Vuttichai also noted that on the day of the accident, the Venezuelan pilot who landed Orient Thai’s MD82 plane ahead of OG029 informed the tower of the wind shears. “Normally, if the wind speed is beyond 20 knots, the tower must warn pilots. And in this case, the tower did warn the pilot.”

 

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