There was a crash of Boeing 747 in a 1978 Air India accident when 747 200B crashed into the sea moments after takeoff from Bombay on Jan. 1. The Indian Court of Inquiry, headed by Justice M.N Chandukar had faulted the pilot for res ponding solely to what it called a malfunctioning Attitude Director Indicator (ADI) and the copilot for failing to provide assistance.

But according to Aviation week and space technology (Nov. 11, 1985) a Federal Judge in Seattle, in a decision sharply at odds with the findings of a foreign Court, has absolved Boeing and two cock pit instrument manufacturers of blame for the accident and ruled that the crash of the Boeing 747 was caused by an unfit pilot. The U.S. District Judge contradicts the assert ion by an Indian Court of Inquiry that instrument failure played a key role in the accident all 213 persons on board were killed.

A Bombay bartender in his testimony claimed that his life had been threatened if he admitted serving drinks to Kakar the pilot.

Extensive laboratory testing may be required to determine if any of the wreckage retrieved from the crash site of Air India Boeing 747 (which crashed off Ireland last June killing 329 persons) contains significant information about the reasons for the crash. One senior Investigating officer said, “We so far are not able to conclude what caused the crash.” The next step would be laboratory analysis of the wreckage at Bombay to arrive at a reasonable conclusion that most reasonable men could agree with.

However, he expressed some pessimism that this could be determined from the evidence now available.

One wonders if with the calibre of Indian Judges as shown by Justice Chandukar in the 1978 crash inquiry, Justice B. N. Kirpal will be able to come to an impartial conclusion instead of maligning the Sikh Community for this sad disaster of the A.I. Jet and not abandon objectivity and fairness. There is already dearth of evidence to link any Sikh with unverified allegations and any wrong doings.

Article extracted from this publication >>  November 29, 1985