Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Miss

Mangalore:  Early morning on May 22, the Air Traffic Control of the Mangalore airport began communicating with a flight that was coming in from Dubai.  Half an hour later, the Air India flight crashed after the pilot overshot the runway. 158 people were killed.

The conversation suggests there was nothing to indicate that the plane was heading into trouble, till the very end.  
This is the pilot talking to the ATC Area Control
TIME: 5.30 AM
EXPRESS INDIA 812: What is the weather like?
ATC (Area Control): Wind: Calm. Visibility: 6 km. Clouds: Few at 2000 feet. Temperature: 27. Dew Point: 26
EXPRESS INDIA 812: Runway 24. And confirm we are identified on radar
ATC (Area Control): Radar not available sir
In fact, the Mangalore airport's radar had not been working for two days- since May 20. The radar is a navigational aid.  Flights can take off and land without it, but that increases the workload and pressure on the ATC.

We come to the last leg of conversation where the flight has established contact with the ATC Tower to land .
TIME: 5:54 AM
EXPRESS INDIA 812: Express India 812 Good morning
TIME: 6:04 AM
ATC (Tower): Wind calm. Runway 24. Clear to land
EXPRESS INDIA 812: Clear to land, Express
14 seconds later, this is a voice the ATC controller hears from the cockpit.
TIME: 6:04
VOICE FROM COCKPIT: Go around Captain
This seems to be the most critical part of the conversation, according to pilots we spoke to. They say  the ATC heard the co-pilot telling the pilot to go around - which means miss the landing, and let's come back again.  The pilot decided against that.

Apparently not perturbed with the situation in the cockpit , since go around manoeuvres do happen occasionally , the ATC issued standard instructions for the jet once it landed on how to exit the runway.

TIME: 6:04
ATC (Tower): Express India 812 backtrack runway 24. Vacate via Delta
TIME: 6:05
Less than 20 seconds later... the ATC heard just the word CONTROL... which they now say was possibly a panicky voice from the cockpit
Within minutes IX812 was a ball of fire. 


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Pride and Prejudice

Last week, I got chance to watch one episode of ‘India’s Got Talent’ season 2. And although I am not a big fan of the show or judges, I was disappointed to see Sajid Khan (sicko) to replace Shekhar Kapoor. (Side note: The lady, Ms. Sonali Bendre Behl was beautiful as always.) Shekhar was good with his philanthropic comments and dramatic expressions.

The reason for the post is a performance by a group from Gujarat which was inspired by African folk dance with touch of Indian flavor. And our judge, Sajid made some silly comment on the African matter. It is surprising how people comment on African language, culture and color. Our languages like Tamil, Gujarati, Bengali, etc also sound alien to people from different regions in the country. Same is the case with the folk dances across India. I don’t know why I did not like his comment; perhaps its ‘cos I don’t like Sajid or I have developed a soft corner for the land of Africa!!

And we talk of racism that Indians face in foreign lands like Australia and UK!

Media created ruckus out of Shilpa incident in reality show Big Brother. She hit a jackpot and suddenly became a global celebrity. Who gained out of it? The media and Shilpa Shetty. How about the racism that still exists?

How about the Thackreys’, both senior and junior? Senior was against the south Indian community and the junior is against north Indians!! How can one create such rift in a free land like India which is a hotpot of varied culture and religions, and that too just to gain some political mileage out of it..!

And point to note is that, Raj Thackrey who is against north Indians working in Maharashtra, had himself hired a north Indian lawyer..! What did the poor guy do who came to appear for the entrance exam?

I might be too young to comment on the big issue, however felt like sharing it!
One should be proud of ones culture but has no right to be prejudiced towards others..!!