Aviation regulator DGCA on Wednesday suspended the flying licence of a senior Jet Airways pilot after he got into a mid-air brawl with his co-pilot and allegedly slapped her inside the cockpit of a London-Mumbai flight on January 1. The pilot’s flying licence has been suspended pending investigation, a senior official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) told PTI. Both the pilots were grounded by the airline after the incident.
The pilot and the woman commander have been flying together for many years and have had differences in the past, according to sources. However, on January 1, the arguments turned violent inside the cockpit. The pilot allegedly slapped her after which the female pilot came out of the cabin crying. “The cabin crew persuaded her to go back to the cockpit but she refused. Following this, the male pilot came out of the cockpit, leaving the operations to the care of a cabin crew (which is a violation of flight safety norms) and persuaded her to return to the cockpit,” a source said.
The pilot’s licence was suspended for violating the safety norms and leaving the cockpit unattended. The fight happened when the aircraft was in the Iran-Pakistan airspace and was 2.45 hours away from its destination.
A Jet Airways spokesperson, however, dimissed the fight as a “misunderstanding” between the crew. “A misunderstanding occurred between the cockpit crew of 9W119 London-Mumbai flight on January 1. However, the same was quickly resolved amicably and the flight with 324 guests including two infants and 14 crew members completed its journey in Mumbai safely,” the airline spokesperson said.
(With inputs from PTI)