Image Credit: Baqir Aviation

Aviation is not only a fascinated yet equally delicate and sensitive field. In this field, a single error ignites the whole chain of errors that ultimately leads towards an incident or an accident. Among these accidents, almost 80% involve such human factors that contribute towards unfortunate happenings. In order to avoid human errors, airlines make sure for their employees to undergo Crew Resource Management (CRM) Training. CRM is a process of effective utilization of all the available resources by flight crew personnel in such a safe and efficient manner that could ensure safe operations, mitigate errors, eliminate stress, and amplify efficiency. The major focus of CRM training revolves around inculcating strong interpersonal skills like communication, effective leadership, decision making, problem-solving, situational awareness among the flight and ground crew. History reveals that whenever any airline failed to follow the protocols of CRM, it happened to meet undesirable events. The same happened to a scheduled flight of Pakistan’s largest private carrier, i.e. Airblue Airline. The Airblue flight 202, involving aircraft A321 faced a similar condition in the cockpit when it crashed near marga la hills

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Nomenclature of Airblue Flight 202

Based in Islamabad, Airblue is Pakistan’s largest private carrier and shares almost 30% of the overall domestic market. It possesses a fleet of almost 11 aircraft consisted of A320 and A321. Domestic operations of Airblue cover different destinations like Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, Peshawar, and Multan. Flight 202, was a scheduled flight of airblue between Jinnah International Airport, Karachi, and Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Islamabad. The aircraft involved in this flight was Airbus A321 carrying 146 passengers and 6 crew members. During the descent phase at Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Islamabad this unfortunate plane crashed into Islamabad Margalla Hills, killing all the souls on board.

Airblue Airline Flight
Credits: Trepup

Root Cause of Airblue A321 Crash

The purpose of investigating an accident is to find out the root cause of that ill-fated happening with an intention to prevent it from occurring again. Investigators found that A321 was technically fit to fly but Cockpit Voice Recorder, recorded the snobbish tone and harsh words of the captain. The plane crashed during fumbled circling approach to runway 12 when the Pilot-In-Command deviated from the standard landing procedures and inexplicably continued flying towards Margalla Hills.

From the initial stages of flight, the captain tried to test the intelligence of the first officer in a discountenancing manner. By dominating through his assertive behavior, he locked the confidence of his cockpit partner. That’s the reason the first officer could not interfere while witnessing the wrong commands given by his captain. This resulted in the loss of situational awareness as both of the crew did not get the reason for warnings of the Ground Proximity Warning System. Owe to the authoritative style of leadership exhibited by the captain, the first officer could not point out the violation of standard landing procedures. Since the cockpit crew did not communicate effectively, hence they could not brainstorm to identify and solve the problem. Consequently, the captain continued believing his false assumptions and his wrong approach annihilated airblue’s A321 and 152 people. The series of errors made by the cockpit crew showed that lack of CRM training caused airblue to bear this deadly accident.

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