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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

Probe into tainted pilots’ inclusion in examiners’ list

Soubhik Mitra, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, February 26, 2013
First Published: 01:59 IST(26/2/2013) | Last Updated: 02:03 IST(26/2/2013)

The aviation safety regulator has ordered a review into the list of examiner rank pilots approved by its office.

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The order came into effect on February 15, about a week after Hindustan Times carried reports stating objections raised over inclusion of three tainted pilots on the list.

An examiner rank pilot is among the senior-most pilots of an airline, in charge of maintaining the safety procedures mandating by the aviation regulator.

On February 2, HT had reported that a government-appointed independent air safety panel had objected to the inclusion of these pilots who were charged with serious offences.

The Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council (CASAC), set up after the Air India Express crash at Mangalore in 2010, had objected to including of Captain HS Malhotra from Alliance Air, charged by the Central Bureau of Investigation in a question paper leak scam last April.

It also sought explanation over restoring the examinership of Captain PP Singh, a senior pilot with Jet Airways caught for fudging training records, and Captain SB Contractor, also a Jet Airways pilot, who was benched for approving Singh’s false records

“We are reviewing the credentials of the pilots whose examinerships were challenged,” said a senior Directorate General of Civil Aviation  official requesting anonymity, as he is not authorised to speak to the media.

The list was also taken off from the safety regulator’s website. “Accuracy of the list is being confirmed and will be posted soon,” read the link.

Sources in the civil aviation ministry claimed that pressure from the international air safety fraternity could have resulted in the move.

Earlier this month, the Federal Aviation Administration, the US air safety regulator, had warned the DGCA to review its training processes after cases of pilots fudging records and simulator entries came to light.


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