Jet Airways pilots suspended after mid-air dive
New Delhi, August 15, 2014
India's civil aviation regulator said it has ordered Jet Airways to suspend two pilots after a flight to Brussels dived 5,000 feet, forcing air traffic controllers to issue an emergency warning.
The Times of India said the captain was on a scheduled rest break when the plane dropped almost 5,000ft over Turkey, putting it at an altitude assigned to another aircraft.
Air traffic controllers in Ankara had to issue an emergency warning to the co-pilot on duty, who the paper said 'did not notice that the aircraft had lost altitude' because she was using her tablet computer at the time, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
The Director General of Civil Aviation said it had summoned the captain and co-pilot for questioning over what it called a 'serious incident' during the flight from Mumbai to Brussels last Friday.
“Both the pilots have been taken off the roster pending inquiry,” said the regulator in a statement.
“Additionally, the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau has been asked to conduct a detailed investigation into the incident.”
The airline said it had launched its own investigation.
“Safety is of paramount importance to Jet Airways, as is also the welfare of our guests and crew,” it said.
Jet Airways, in which Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has a 24 per cent stake, is India's second-biggest carrier.
India's air passenger market has expanded at breakneck speed, but many companies are laden with debt due to cut-throat fare wars, high fuel costs and shoddy infrastructure. - TradeArabia News Service