BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh Human Rights Commission (MPHRC) may be curious over identifying source of large ball of ice that fell from sky on an elderly woman in Sagar district, but there are over 60 such incidents that were reported across India that were never investigated.
While there are regulatory agencies like directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) in place to investigate such incidents, to the layman that is jumbo hailstones.
Delhi based aviation consultant B K Srivastava who had been monitoring these incidents for last 10 years firmly believes that a proper investigation into this drop with not only help the victim get a compensation but will also detect breach in aircraft’s laboratory system.
Here is line of investigations recommended by B K Srivastava on “Ice ball drop from sky”
Investigators may collect detailed information from eye-witnesses regarding physical characteristics of the ice block including its shape, size, weight, appearance, textures etc. and most important aspect is its colour, & Odour.
Attempts should be made to procure good quality photographs of the ice and the place of incident.
If colour of ice block was blue, bluish or Green and/ or if the ice was smelling of Phenyl or of sort of sanitizing liquid, it could definitely be from an aircraft. Yellowish or Dirty colour can also give indication to some extent.
Some traces of earth from of place of incident may also be tested to look for the presence of sanitizer, though it may not be of much significance, after passage of so much of time.
If the ice was from an aeroplane, in all probability, the particular aeroplane might have been flying on an International Air-Route or ATS Route (Air Traffic Services) known as A-791. On this route international flights on Karachi/ Kolkata or Karachi/ Bangkok are frequently operating. This route is located in East/ West/East Direction.
ATS Routes are similar to Highways for ground vehicles with a particular defined path connecting one airport with other. It is prudent for every civil aircraft to follow only authorised air-routes, and that they cannot deviate from their path.
The width of ATS Routes is 20 Kms. That means all the flights will be confined to remain within a range of 20 Kms on this route. All Scheduled and Non-Scheduled airlines overflying on any particular air route normally maintain their altitudes between 10 to 15 Kms (About 30,000ft to 45,000ft).
Over all such Air-routes, mandatory reporting points have been established. These reporting points could be in the form of Radio Navigational Aids e.g. VOR (VHF Omni Directional Range), NDB (Non-Directional Beacon) or they may be in terms of simple assumed points based on Geographical Coordinates which are known as Dead Reckoning or DR Points.
All aircraft while passing over those reporting points are required to communicate with the relevant Air Traffic Control Centre (ATS Centre) and transmit to them their position Report & flight details such as aircraft Call sign, Place of Departure & Destination, Time of crossing the reporting point, Flight Level, expected time of arrival over the next reporting point etc.
Aamkhoh, the place is located at Geographical Coordinates 23°14’03.39″”N, 78°53’06.08″”E. Part of ATS Routes A-791 at this location falls under the jurisdiction of Nagpur/ Mumbai ATC, and there are two reporting points on ATS Route A-791 viz. Bhopal & Jabalpur. Aamkhoh is located exactly below that route at a distance of 160 Kms East of Bhopal and 121 Kms West of Jabalpur. A rough sketch on Google Earth shown below will substantiate the assumptions.
Aircraft cruising Eastwards over that route would take about 8 Minutes to arrive over Aamkhoh after crossing Bhopal, and aircraft flying West-wards would take about 11 Minutes to arrive over Aamkhoh after crossing Jabalpur.
Air Traffic Control Centre Nagpur/ Mumbai is functioning under Airports Authority of India and it maintains a record of all aircraft movements (Of Course till a limited period).
Thus records of all aircraft flights which had operated on A-791 on the day of incident can be traced by DGCA, which is the regulatory authority for Civil Aircraft in India.
Once this job is done, the next part would be that DGCA, India may be writing to its counterparts (DGCAs) of those countries to which the airlines belong to, giving Registration & Type of aircraft that had flown over the place of incident and seeking information whether any leakage or seepage was noticed or repaired in respect of those aircraft from Dec 17th 2015 till date. If so the details?
In case of receipt of any positive report from any of the countries, it could be taken as a confirmed case of Ice fall from an aircraft, wherein the aircraft involved in the incident could be identified.