THE DIRECTORATE General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended for five years the flying licences of the two pilots on board Jet Airways’ London-Mumbai flight on January 1 for leaving the cockpit unattended after a scuffle.
“The DGCA has investigated the occurrence. Keeping in view serious safety lapses endangering the safety of aircraft operations, the DGCA has suspended the privileges of licence of both the involved pilots for a period of five years,” a senior DGCA official said.
On January 8, the Mumbai-based airline sacked the two pilots, who were earlier suspended from duty, for being involved in a scuffle inside the cockpit, and left the controls unmanned during the flight, which had 324 passengers apart from the 14 crew members. Initially, the civil aviation regulator had suspended the licence of the co-pilot, who allegedly slapped the flight commander — a female — during the flight. This led to the commander leaving the cockpit in tears. However, after several unsuccessful attempts by the co-pilot to call the captain back into the cockpit, the former, too, left the flight controls on the Boeing 777 aircraft.
According to a company source, both the pilots were of flight commander rank, but since only one of them could commandeer the aircraft, one was serving as the first officer on that flight.