Mangalore Crash: An Inquiry That Ends with Photoshopping the Truth

Air India Express flight 812: An investigation gone hauntingly wrong-V

By Jacob K Philip

Because it was mandatory to reconstruct the shape of the aircraft with remains of the wreckage, the Court of Inquiry (CoI) appointed by the Govt of India to investigate the crash of Air India Express flight-812 too had attempted it with 16 tonnes of the debris that Air India chose to collect from the crash site.

Or did they, actually?

Given below is the photograph of the Re-arranged wreckage, as given in the final investigation report the CoI submitted to the Ministry of Civil Aviation.

The photo of the reconstructed wreckage of flight-812, given in the CoI report

In all probability, this picture is fake.
It can’t be the actual photograph of the debris arranged (if at all they were arranged) on the open platform near the new terminal of the Mangalore airport.

To take a photograph like this, the photographer should be directly above the platform, many meters up, to get the whole view.

There were no such vantage points there.

I had been to the place twice in July 2011 (A few days after the Col left) and could take some photographs and video myself of the whole setup. Please see the video embeded below and the pictures.

The wreckage of flight-812 on a platform near Mangalore airport terminal

The wreckage of flight-812 - another view








The wreckage of flight-812 - another view

Now have a closer look at the first photograph published by the CoI. What is the grey coloured surface on which the wreckage is resting?
The concrete platform? Of course not.
Then what?

Again have a look at the engines on left and right. Now how come the engines are larger in diameter than the fuselage!.

Your guess is right. The picture is something cooked up in computer by a very amateur artist with Photoshop.
The CoI must have taken the pictures of each part separately or collectively and the artist did the reconstruction on computer screen as per the direction of some one familiar with the shape of the aircraft.

The picture is included in the Chapter named “Factual Information”.

The huge separation between the wordings and the truth is truly representative in nature of  the CoI report.

The 191 odd pages of the report is heavy with the attempt to subvert or to twist the facts.

What I planned initially was to point out all those instances of subversion one by one in the last part of this series. But now that seems immaterial.

The series may be concluded with three paragraphs from the CoI report itself. The compulsion of the CoI to make the Commander and, to some extent first officer, alone responsible for the crash is evident from the contradictory sentences:

During interaction with other pilots, who had flown with Capt Glusica, he was
reported to be a friendly person, ready to help the First Officers with professional
information. Some of the First Officers had mentioned that Captain Glusica was
assertive in his actions and tended to indicate that he was ‘ALWAYS RIGHT’.

On 17th March 2010, Capt Glusica had been called to the Flight Safety
Department of Air India Express regarding a ‘Hard Landing Incident’ on a flight
operated by him from Muscat to Thiruvananthapuram on 12th December 2009. While the Chief of Flight Safety had stated that the counselling was carried out in an amicable and friendly manner, it was given to understand from his colleagues that Capt Glusica was upset about the counselling.

In the absence of Mangalore Area Control Radar (MSSR), due to
un-serviceability, the aircraft was given descent at a shorter distance on
DME as compared to the normal. However, the flight crew did not plan
the descent profile properly, resulting in remaining high on approach.


Jacob K Philip is Editor of Aviation India

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