Two days ago, The Mint newspaper reported an incident in which a Jet Airways Boeing 737 captain put a trainee fresh out of flight school, who was not even trained, let alone certified, in any form of jet transport, into the co-pilot’s seat during a landing at Chennai.
The airline is accused of trying to hush up the incident from safety regulators and taking indequate action against the pilot commander, may be under pressure from some Bollywood actor well known to commander and the senior management of the airline.
On learning of the incident, the Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered the removal of the Jet’s Director of Flight Safety, which in turn is causing uproar amongst the aviation professionals, who feel the Director is being offered as a sacrifical lamb in order to let the airline, and its politically well connected management, get away without facing punitive action.
Jet Airways put out this statement in response to the snowballing of the incident
In line with international practices on improving safety, Jet Airways encourages a voluntary and a confidential reporting system for all employees. Based on a confidential report and after appropriate investigations, two cockpit crew members were suspended for a period of two and a half months.
Jet Airways is in contact with DGCA and has extended all co-operation. Jet Airways will continue to adhere to all requirements as laid down by the regulator from time to time.
At Jet Airways safety is of paramount importance of its crew and guests. The airline has and always will adhere to additional measures as prescribed by the regulatory authority.
In response to the airline’s claims, many pilots, aviation professionals and enthusiasts claim there is a pattern of evasion in the airline, pointing to another incident on October 20 on Jet Airway’s flight 9W 332 around 8.50am where a Jet Airways check pilot did the unthinkable, and pulled the circuit breakers when the aircraft was at around 3,700ft. on landing approach from Delhi to Mumabi; apparently to see the pilots’ reactions to a failure in a Boeing 737 cockpit.
In that incident too, Jet Airways did not initially deroster the pilot, and also did not initiate any action till the incident was brought to public notice and the DGCA got involved. Though a probe was ordered, no results have been publically shared.
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