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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

DGCA to review approval of pilot

Soubhik Mitra, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, December 07, 2012
First Published: 01:45 IST(7/12/2012) | Last Updated: 02:05 IST(7/12/2012)

The aviation safety regulator will review the approval of a senior Jet Airways pilot who allegedly skipped a crucial safety procedure to continue as an examiner rank pilot.

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The move was based on the report published in HT on December 5 and a complaint made in the matter by a government- appointed independent air safety committee.

“Based on the newspaper report, I have reported the matter to the joint director general of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). It is our role to be proactive in probing safety lapses,” said Captain Arvind Kathpalia, flight operations inspector, DGCA.

Despite several attempts, DGCA chief Arun Mishra was not available for comment.

Last week, the Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council (CASAC) had reported that Captain Manoj Bhambani, the chief of flight training at Jet Airways, was allowed to continue as an examiner rank pilot without following the mandatory safety procedures.

According to the DGCA’s rules on training and licensing, examiner rank pilots have to undergo a standardisation check every two years to enjoy the privileges of their rank. The test consists of two parts.

In the first part, pilots have to show their basic skills in manoeuvring an aircraft at different stages of flying comprising take-off, touchdown and handling mid-air emergencies under the supervision of a chief flight operating instructor (CFOI) appointed by the DGCA.

The second part consists of skills as an examiner while evaluating a junior pilot on board a flight.

According to the complaint, Captain Bhambani skipped the first part of the training.

However, Jet Airways had debunked the allegation, claiming that a standardisation check entails a trainer to be observed by a DGCA inspector while carrying out his duties as examiner and does not require a proficiency check.

This was the second complaint filed by CASAC that alleged lapse in safety procedures involving senior Jet Airways pilots.

In the first, the safety body complained about fake entries made in the training logbooks of two senior Jet Airways pilots.

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