The country’s aviation regulatory body Tuesday suspended flying licenses of two SpiceJet pilots for six months after an aircraft operated by them damaged runway edge lights during landing at Kolkata airport, PTI reported.
While the response from SpiceJet is awaited, the six-month suspension of the flying licenses of the two pilots — Aarati Gunasekaran and Saurabh Gulia — has been effective from July 2, the day of the incident, PTI quoted an official as saying.
An investigation into the incident found that the aircraft, coming from Pune, touched down approximately 1,300 feet from runway threshold point, PTI quoted the official as saying. This resulted in the plane “further veering to the right of the runway centerline and damaging the edge lights,” the official told PTI.
Meanwhile, in another incident, the DGCA grounded a pilot of Vistara airlines, ANI reported. A matter was reported to the aviation regulatory body on June 15 that Vistara flight UK944 from Mumbai to Delhi was diverted to Lucknow due to bad weather but later flight was found to have less fuel, ANI stated.
Coming down hard on off-duty airline officials, the aviation watchdog has barred pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers (AMEs) from travelling in the cockpit “even when they are on leave or have not been assigned any duty whatsoever”. It stated that this practice is in violation of Aeronautical Information Circular (AIC) of 1997 and also “provides cover to officials who are authorised to travel in the cockpit while on leave or off-duty and detected BA (breath-analyser) positive”.
Meanwhile, the DGCA on Monday also suspended the flying license of an Air India pilot for being involved in a “heated argument” and “physical altercation” with a cabin crew member in the aircraft before it was about to take off. The suspension is again for six months.
The incident took place on June 17 when the flight was to take off from Bengaluru to Kolkata. Upon probe, the regulator sent a showcause notice to the pilot with a 15-day time period to respond. However, the pilot’s response was not found to be satisfactory by the regulator and that led to the suspension of his flying rights, a government official said.