An Air India flight that was about to land at Hong Kong on October 20 this year was seconds away from disaster after the aircraft “descended rapidly and deviated significantly” from the normal glide path, a preliminary report into the incident by the Hong Kong Transport and Housing Bureau has revealed. Both pilots of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft were de-rostered by Air India following the incident.
“During the approach to Hong Kong International Airport Runway 07R, the aircraft descended rapidly and deviated significantly from the normal glide path triggering a Ground Proximity Warning System alert. The crew recovered the aircraft at about 200 feet above mean sea level (AMSL) before performing a go around,” the investigation report noted.
On October 20, Air India’s flight AI314 from Delhi to Hong Kong with 197 passengers and 10 crew members was making an approach at a runway where the instrument landing system (ILS) was malfunctioning.
“…the crew had received cautionary information from the Hong Kong arrival Automatic Terminal Information Service (ATIS) regarding the possibility of ILS glideslope fluctuation. At 06:08:17 hours, the Air Traffic Control (ATC) further advised the crew of the possible glide path signal fluctuation,” the report said.
“At 06:11:00 hours, ATC cleared the aircraft for the instrument landing system (ILS) approach for Runway 07R. During the approach, the aircraft descended rapidly, triggering a Ground Proximity Warning System (GPWS) alert on board the aircraft,” it said, adding that approximately 2.6 nautical miles from the runway, the crew recovered the aircraft and performed a go-around. The plane then landed uneventfully on its second approach.
Following the incident, the chief inspector of Hong Kong’s Air Accident Investigation Authority ordered an investigation and notified the US National Transportation Safety Board and the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau of India.