February 14th in Aviation History

Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Indian Airlines Flight 605 was a scheduled domestic passenger flight between Mumbai to Bengaluru. The flight was operated by an Airbus A320-200 family aircraft. On the 14th of February, 1990, the A320 on flight 605 was carrying 139 passengers and 7 crew. While attempting to land at Bangalore’s Hindustan Airport, the aircraft crashed into a golf course. 92 of the 146 occupants died in the crash. 54 survived and some with serious injuries.

The subsequent investigation was carried out by the India’s Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB). The investigative team stated that the probable cause was the pilots selecting the “Open descent/flight idle” control mode rather than “Glideslope capture”, which caused the aircraft to sink far below the correct flight path. They further failed to advance the throttles or pull up even after the radio altitude call-outs of “Four hundred”, “Three hundred” and “Two hundred” feet as the aircraft approached the ground. The report stated that the crew of Flight 605 weren’t aware of the situation and the danger they were facing at the time, resulting in delayed reaction during the descent.

Two more accidents in similar circumstances involving the Airbus A320 led to cockpit design changes and recommendations.

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