Airlines, DGCA, Flight Safety, Jet Airways, Regulations

Jet pilot involved in mid-air clash may lose licence

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NEW DELHI: Jet pilot involved in mid-air clash may lose licence.  A Jet Airways “copilot” who allegedly slapped his lady commander on a London-Mumbai flight on New Year’s day could lose his flying licence with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation taking a serious view of the episode.

While a probe is on, a top official said the alleged action of the co-pilot – actually Jet’s senior-most Boeing 777 commander who was acting as copilot on that particular flight – called for “extreme measures” – a euphemism for cancellation of licence.

“Both the pilots were out of the cockpit a couple of times and no one was inside. This is unheard of,” said a DGCA official. Asked why action was being taken only against the copilot, another official said, “It is alleged that the lady commander was hit by the co-pilot and she left the cockpit. As per rules, one pilot can leave the cockpit as long as the other is inside. While the probe will examine her role as well, prima facie the co-pilot’s hitting the commander and then leaving the cockpit to bring her back – leaving the cockpit unmanned – led us to suspend his flying licence immediately.”
Aviation safety rules stipulate that two crew members should be in the cockpit at all times. When one pilot goes out for some reason, a cabin crew member is called inside. The logic is that if the pilot inside gets incapacitated for some reason, the cabin crew member inside should be able to open the cockpit door for the other pilot to come in. However, cabin crew members have a code to open the cockpit door from outside if no one opens it from inside.

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