PETALING JAYA: The Air Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) has praised the pilots of a Piper light aircraft forced to make an emergency landing at a construction site in Jasin, Melaka, earlier this year.
“(The flying instructor demonstrated) good flying skill and captaincy with the assistance from the student pilot in executing a perfect forced landing at an open construction site with no injuries to any person or damage to any property,” the AAIB said of the February incident.
The bureau pointed out that the pilots of the Piper Archer III PA-28-181 managed to bring the aircraft down safely despite confusion over conflicting checklists provided by the manufacturer and the Malaysian Flying Academy.
It said this confusion might have been the reason why a mayday or possible assistance needed (PAN) call was not made. Even so, the AAIB was at pains to stress the importance of making the emergency call if possible.
“With limited height, time and unable to determine the cause of the emergency despite completing the relevant checklist, based on the principle of local rationality, the investigation team would like to commend the captain of the aircraft,” it said in the serious incident report sighted by FMT.
Local rationality is a decision to act in a certain way that makes perfect sense to the individual in the local context given the information available at that particular moment.
On Feb 23, the aircraft, which was on a training flight, made a forced landing at a construction site near a factory in Jasin following a mechanical malfunction.
The AAIB said there were two checklists – engine failure after take-off (Efato) and trouble – which were not stated in the Piper Archer III PA-28-181 pilot’s operating handbook but were incorporated in the Malaysian Flying Academy’s SOP and used by all its pilots.
The pilot’s handbook issued by the manufacturer is recognised globally as the authority publication.
“Any amendment by the aircraft operator to include any of the checks in the aircraft Piper Archer III PA-28-181 must be approved by the manufacturer before it can be officially used. There is no evidence of any approval given,” the report said.
It said the duplication of checks caused redundancy and created confusion to pilots, especially during an emergency, and recommended that the aircraft operator review the use of the Efato and trouble checks to ensure they complied with SOPs in the Piper Archer III PA-28-181 handbook.
The investigation team also reported that it could not conclusively identify the source of the sudden loss of power that caused the incident, but added that human factors did not contribute to it.