A government appointed independent air safety committee has reported safety violations in the training of another senior Jet Airways pilot. Last week, the Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Committee’s (CASAC’s) complaint to the aviation safety regulator alleged that Captain Manoj Bhambani, the chief of flight training at Jet Airways skipped a test mandatory to function as an examiner rank pilot.
An examiner rank pilot is a senior pilot authorised to assess junior pilots and monitor safety standards in an airline.
According to the DGCA’s rules on training and licensing, examiner rank pilots have to undergo a standardisation check every 2 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 under the supervision of a chief flight operating instructor (CFOI) appointed by the DGCA.
The second stage 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. CASAC made the allegation based on a Jet Airways’s application to renew Captain Bhambani’s examinership sent to the DGCA on August 28.
The application states that Captain Bhambani operated two flights as an examiner under the supervision of CFOI Captain Hemant Samant. It sought the DGCA’s renewal of his examinership on the basis of these two operations.
“The letter clearly indicates that that Captain Bhambani did not undergo the proficiency check,” said Captain Mohan Ranganathan, member CASAC.
A Jet Airways spokesperson claimed 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.
“That is precisely what transpired in the case of Captain Bhambhani, thus the question of skipping the test does not arise. The DGCA accepted the session towards standardisation and renewed his approval as an Examiner two months ago,” said the spokesperson.
This is the second case of discrepancy reported in less than 2 weeks. Last week, the safety body complained about fake entries made in the training logbooks of two senior Jet pilots.