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Tushar Srivastava, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, July 17, 2013
In gross violation of all rules and in complete negligence of passenger safety, Air India (AI) pilots on a Bangalore-Hyderabad flight, allowed a south Indian actress to travel in the cockpit.

The actress sat in the observer's seat during the flight, which is reserved for examiners and observers authorised by aviation regulator DGCA.

"Both the pilots have been suspended and an inquiry has been ordered," said an AI spokesperson confirming the incident.

Sources said the captain allowed the actress inside the cockpit and let her remain there for the duration of the flight.

"Rules do not permit cockpit entry," said aviation safety expert Captain Mohan Ranganathan.

"Apart from the distraction factor, in case of an emergency, crew action would be impaired if an untrained person is in the cockpit. This is an act of indiscipline," he added.

While AI did not disclose the date of the incident, sources said it took place last month. The matter came to light after a senior government official, who was on board the flight, made a complaint.

In May, the pilot of an Air India flight en route from Delhi to Bangalore got locked out of the cockpit owing to which his co-pilot had to make an emergency landing in Bhopal.