A Mumbai-based medical body has approached the aviation safety regulator seeking action against a set of Jet Airways pilots who were unable to land a flight carrying 200 passengers, including singer Asha Bhonsle, from Mumbai at the Jodhpur airport on two days in a row, last week.
In the complaint sent to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday the AIDS Society of India (ASI) alleged that some shortcoming in the training requirements of one of the pilots could have resulted the aborted landings.
"The DGCA must initiate inquiry into this episode and take stern action against the pilot as well as the airline, as it could have risked lives of 200 people on board," said Dr. IS Gilada, president, ASI. He was among around 25 doctors from across the country that was travelling to Jodhpur for a medical conference.
The complaint added after two abortive attempts to land in Jodhpur, it was flown to Jaipur. The body further alleged that passengers were left stranded at the Jaipur airport for hours without food and water. "The conference attendees had to take a bus ride from Jaipur to Jodhpur amid poor weather," added Dr. Gilada.
The complaint also alleged that this was the second day in row when the same paid of cockpit crew had failed to land in Jodhpur. The body claimed that a 7-member delegation from Indonesia and Malaysia that was scheduled to reach Jodhpur on September 28 were on board that flight which was brought back to Mumbai after stopovers at Jaipur and Ahmedabad.
"Despite flying them back to Mumbai the airline refused to provide them accommodation," added Dr Gilada. Singer Asha Bhonsle who was travelling with four members of her family cancelled the journey and decided to stay over at Jaipur, the complaint added.
An airline spokesperson dismissed the allegation. "Jet Airways flight 9W 315 from Mumbai to Jodhpur had to be diverted to Jaipur due to poor visibility at Jodhpur due to heavy rains," said the airline spokesperson. The spokesperson added, "Safety is of paramount importance to us. The stringent training modules as also training on simulators, refresher courses all make our cockpit crew capable and competent to handle such situations."
DGCA chief Arun Mishra was not available for a comment.