Jet Airways flight IX374 was operated on 17/08/2015 with a Boeing B737-800 aircraft registration VT-JFA. The flight was a Doha-Cochin sector . Both the operating crew were duly qualified on type B737 aircraft to operate the flight. There were 142 passengers and 08 crew members on board the aircraft.
The flight from Doha to Cochin was uneventful, however due to presence of low clouds below decision altitude (DA) in approach path at Cochin, the crew of Air India Express flight IX374 carried out three go-around as visual contact with runway could not be established.
While carrying out the third go-around the minimum reserve fuel became less than what was required for Bangalore, the designated alternate destination, hence the crew re-designated the alternate destination as Trivandrum.
After the third go-around Jet Airways flight IX374 diverted to Trivandrum.
The reported visibility at Trivandrum was 3000 meter. However after Air India Express flight IX374 came in contact with Trivandrum ATC, the reported visibility was 1500 m.
Trivandrum ATC cleared Jet Airways flight IX374 for VOR/DME approach runway 14.
The flight crew of 9W-555 could not establish visual contact with the runway at Minimum Decision Altitude (MDA), carried out a go-around and declared “MAY-DAY” due fuel. After declaring “MAY-DAY” the PIC requested ATC for permission to carry out visual approach for runway 14.
Thereafter the crew of Air India Express flight IX374 made two more visual approaches for runway 14 and, however failed to establish visual contact with the runway and carried out go-around.
Thereafter the PIC requested ATC to take left 180° turn to self-position for inbound runway 32 at 700 feet. This activated EGPWS caution “TERRAIN TERRAIN” followed by EGPWS warning “TERRAIN TERRAIN PULL UP”. The aircraft finally landed safely on runway 32 on the 7th attempt at 0139 UTC.
After engine shut down fuel on board was 349 Kgs.
Cause of the accident was identified as :
- The absence of a company policy pertaining to the number of approaches/missed approaches in inclement weather led to the crew of 9W-555 attempting total of 07 approaches/missed approaches at Cochin and Trivandrum. The crew also attempted 03 visual approaches at Trivandrum in below minima conditions, below circuit altitude and ignored several EGPWS cautions/warnings, thereby jeopardising the safety of the passengers and the aircraft.
- The absence of a company policy pertaining to the re-designation of destination alternate during the flight in inclement weather led to the flight crew choosing an alternate, which was probably not the best decision given the available information and the prevailing weather conditions.