the recent events in the aviation sector, the Directorate General of Civil
Aviation (DGCA) has issued fresh directives on Standard Operating Procedures to
all scheduled, non-scheduled and general aviation
In the directive on ‘correct’
landings, the DGCA has said “Based on feedback received from various
quarters it is felt that pilots need to be made aware that achieving a
particular “G” (“G” is the acceleration constant for gravity) value on
touchdown is no measure of a good landing. Landings should be judged not by how
soft the landing has been, but if it has been made at the correct speed and
touchdown zone on the runway. The
airplane manufacturer lays down limits of “G” values for landing, and certain
operators need to guard against imposing much lower values in their FOQA
programmes.” The DGCA has asked all operators to ensure that ‘correct’ landings
are aimed by pilots’ rather than achieving soft landings at lower “G” values
that may compromise the runway stopping distance required. In case of an “Unstabilised Approach” if not timely corrected, a
“Go-Around” is recommended which affords pilots another opportunity, to conduct
another safe approach.
In the directive on Standard
Operating Procedures for approach and landing the DGCA has reiterated that
strict adherence to the SOPs would result in decent landings acceptable within
the limitations of the aircraft without compromising stopping distance
In this regard, the DGCA has said that
a large percentage of incidents and accidents occur during the approach and
landing or take off phase of flight. This is also the phase where there is
transition from automated flight to manual flight, instrument to visual
reference and vice versa. It is critical that SOPs are followed meticulously in
these phases of flight. Pilots need to bear in mind that a good landing is the
result of a good approach which is built on adherence to SOPs. A good landing is not one that the passengers
perceive as a soft landing, but one that is made at the correct point on the
runway with the correct flight parameters. While the approach can be controlled
to achieve a good standard through adherence to SOPs and should result in safe
landing, an attempt to cushion a “decent” landing to make a soft landing could
result in a delayed touchdown that would need harsh deceleration to maintain
the aircraft on the runway or even worse a runway excursion with possible
catastrophic results. If however, for any reasons, the approach is unstabilised, a go-around is a safer option which affords
the pilot another opportunity to conduct a safe approach to land.
The DGCA directive on Standard
Procedures for manning of cockpit is as follow:
“The Flight Crew Operations Manual (FCOM) and Safety and Emergency Procedures
(SEP) Manual of all aircraft/ Operators requires that at all given times the
Cockpit has to be manned by minimum crew compliment.
In case one of the crew members has to
leave the cockpit during the non critical phases of flight the cabin crew is
required to be inside the cockpit and occupy the observer seat. In no case the
cabin crew will occupy the seats meant for Cockpit crew.
It is to
reiterate that in case one pilot leaves the flight deck, cabin crew shall be in
the flight deck and will occupy one of the observer seats. The cabin crew in the flight deck will
remain vigilant in case of subtle incapacitation of the flight deck crew or any
other situation that requires assistance.
The procedure to be followed is as
Prior to opening the Flight Deck door,
the forward galley area should be free of passengers and the curtain between
the galley and cabin is closed.
The absence should be restricted to the
minimum time necessary.
The flight deck door is locked whilst
crew member is absent.
The forward galley area must remain
sterile during the absence from the flight deck.
The crew member returning to the flight
deck should follow the entry request procedure.
The pilot remaining in the cockpit
shall wear shoulders harness, and headset and maintain high level of alertness,
and situational awareness. He should have an unobstructed access to the flight
The cabin crew shall remain in the
flight deck till such time the flight deck crew member returns to the flight
The above is for strict compliance.”