The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended the pilot-in-command and co-pilot of a Cessna aircraft that crashed and caught fire while landing at Aligarh airport last year, following an investigation into the incident that involved a plane operated by Air Charter Services Pvt Ltd. The development comes a day after the aviation regulator suspended two pilots of another general aviation company flying a Cessna aircraft.
The suspensions come at a time when the DGCA is making efforts to improve flight safety at flying schools and general aviation companies.
According to a senior official, the investigation into the Air Charter Services incident found that the aircraft was at a very low altitude while approaching the airport runway on August 27 last year. It also found that the landing gear of the small plane hit electrical cable located 180 metres ahead of the threshold line of the runway 11.
“The crew subsequently lost control, the aircraft hit the ground and caught fire,” the senior official said, citing the DGCA probe. The aviation regulator then issued show-cause notices to the pilots and the responses received were found to be unsatisfactory.
The DGCA observed that the pilot-in-command failed to follow the procedures and maintain required visual clearance. The first officer too failed to maintain required visual clearance with obstacles in the final phase of landing, according to the official. Therefore, the DGCA has suspended the licenses of pilot-in-command and the first officer of the Cessna aircraft for a period of one year and six months respectively, the official said.
On Friday, the aviation regulator suspended pilots of a Cessna plane, owned by Taneja Aerospace, which runs aircraft charter services for corporate sector, for one year for causing runway excursion at Nanded airport last year. The investigation of the DGCA found that even though the air traffic control gave the clearance to the pilots to land their plane on runway 28 on September 11 last year, they opted to use runway 10 where the “approach light system” was not “serviceable”.
This caused the runway excursion that damaged the aircraft, and therefore, the DGCA issued show cause notices to these pilots for which they could not send a satisfactory response, and consequently, the regulator decided to suspend them for a period of one year.
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