Two days after the poor pass percentage in the written tests shocked thousands of trainee pilots and co-pilots aspiring to become commanders, the aviation safety regulator that conducts the nationwide examination said the results posted on its website were inaccurate owing to a software glitch.
“Owing to a software problem the system miscalculated the marks for two papers – Air Regulation and Aviation Meteorology. We will release the corrected list on Monday,” said Bharat Bhushan, director general, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).
According to the incorrect results released on the DGCA website on Friday, less than 4% of the 4000 candidates that appeared for the commercial pilots license (CPL) examination passed in just one (air navigation) out of 12 papers. Worse, all the 1000-odd first officers appearing for the Airline Transport Pilot License (ALTP), or the license to operate flights as a commander, failed in the all the subjects.
The goof-up created chaos amongst the pilot fraternity across the country. “I could not sleep last night. It was a good move to conduct the written tests online but the regulator should be more responsible about declaring the results,” said a Borivli-based trainee pilot who appeared for the CPL exams requesting anonymity.
This was the first time written examinations were conducted online following the fake pilot busted last year. Until November, pilots were arrested for allegedly using fraudulent means to acquire flying licenses with help from senior DGCA officials.
The regulator had also grounded some flying schools for forging pilot logbooks in the course of its investigation.
After the scam came to light the civil aviation ministry in March had decided to conduct the online examinations, which was also recommended by an expert panel, comprising DGCA chief Bharat Bhushan and senior executives.
Subsequently the National Informatics Centre had devised the software used to conduct the examinations.