Serious incident Airbus A320-251N VT-EXM, 13 Nov 2020
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 245451
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Time:15:50 UTC
Type:Silhouette image of generic A20N model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Airbus A320-251N
Owner/operator:Air India
Registration: VT-EXM
MSN: 8056
Fatalities:Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 167
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: None
Category:Serious incident
Location:Chennai Airport (MAA/VOMM) -   India
Phase: Take off
Nature:Passenger - Scheduled
Departure airport:Chennai Airport (MAA/VOMM)
Destination airport:Delhi-Indira Gandhi International Airport (DEL/VIDP)
Investigating agency: AAIB India
Confidence Rating: Accident investigation report completed and information captured
Air India flight AI554, an Airbus A320neo, was advised by ATC (Ground) to expect runway 25 for departure before it was given pushback and start-up clearance. The same was also acknowledged by the crew. The aircraft was then given taxi clearance to the holding point for runway 25 via taxiway ‘E’, ‘B’ and ‘C’. The crew, however, requested an ‘A’ intersection departure. Accordingly, ATC (Ground) revised taxi clearance as taxi via ‘B’ and ‘A’ holding point runway 30 on ‘A’.
The ATC (Ground) then handed over the aircraft to ATC (Tower). ATC (Tower) then gave take-off clearance from runway 25. The aircraft, however, lined up on runway 30 and started rolling for take-off. On observing this, ATC (Tower) immediately instructed the aircraft to cancel take-off, hold position and instructed to stop immediately. The flight crew rejected the take-off at a speed of 67 knots. The crew then requested ATC that they would like to return to the bay. Accordingly, ATC (Tower) gave taxi clearance to vacate via ‘Q1’, ‘Q’ holding point runway 07 and the same was readback by crew. After vacating the runway via Q1, the pilot took a wrong turn and entered taxiway N (not a full taxiway) instead of continuing straight for Q. ATC then instructed the aircraft to hold position and appraised them of the situation.

The incident occurred due to loss of situational awareness of the flight crew, wherein, the PF started rolling the aircraft on the unassigned runway without ascertaining the intended runway with the available visual cues and improper monitoring of the instruments for the intended runway by PM.
Contributory Factors:
• Not discussing Hotspots (Hotspot 4) during the taxi briefing.
• Crew not observing the aircraft ‘Heading’ when lining up the aircraft on runway 30 (heading 299°) which was not in line with the intended runway 25 (Heading 251).
• The crew in a hurry to complete the flight and return home due to festival in mind.
• Crew also showing urgency to clear the runway as at the back of their mind they had that there is another aircraft on finals for landing.
• Take-off from runway 25/runway30 intersection which crew were not aware at that time.
• Take-off clearance was given (for runway 25 not runway 30) when the PF was lining up the aircraft on unassigned runway i.e., Runway 30 which added to the PFs belief that it was the intended runway.


Accident investigation:
Investigating agency: AAIB India
Status: Investigation completed
Duration: 1 year and 4 months
Download report: Final report
Other occurrences involving this aircraft

19 May 2022 VT-EXM Air India 0 Mumbai-Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport (BOM/VABB) min



Chennai aerodrome chart section (AIP)

Revision history:

08-Dec-2020 20:14 harro Added
07-Apr-2022 08:41 harro Updated [Time, Total occupants, Location, Narrative, Accident report]
07-Apr-2022 08:51 harro Updated [Narrative, Category, Photo]

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