Air India pilots have decided to give a part of their one month’s salary to the family of service engineer Ravi Subramanian, who died after he was sucked into the engine of an AI plane at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport on December 16.
According to Indian Commercial Pilots’ Association general secretary Praveen Keerthi, an amount of Rs 5,000 will be deducted from every pilot’s salary for the contribution. Subramanian is survived by his wife and 20-year-old son Krishna, a third-year student of a Nerul-based engineering college.
Subramanian had worked as a service engineer with the airlines for the past 22 years.
“Every Air Indian is deeply affected by the demise and our thoughts and deepest sympathies lie with the family,” the association said in a statement.
On December 16, Subramanian (54) was monitoring the pushback of flight AI 619 when the mishap took place. According to eye witnesses, he was overseeing the process of disconnecting the tow bar when the pilot allegedly got clearance from air traffic control and ignited the throttle. The suction pressure of the engine pulled the engineer towards it while a helper was disconnecting the tow bar from the aircraft’s nose.
According to a police officer, investigations are on in this case and they are depending on the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau’s final report. A Delhi-based team, appointed by the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation, is looking into it. “The digital voice recorder in the cockpit has been extracted. The process to decode it is still on. It will help in establishing the sequence of events,” the police officer said. The process, however, is expected to take a few more days, he said.
The National Human Rights Commission had issued a notice to the chairman of Air India, asking him to furnish a response for the fatal mishap. According to an Air India spokesperson, the airline is yet to respond.