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HindustanTimes Fri,18 Apr 2014

‘Spicejet, DIAL spared by regulator  in airfield mishap’

Soubhik Mitra, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, January 04, 2013
First Published: 01:59 IST(4/1/2013) | Last Updated: 02:01 IST(4/1/2013)

A government-appointed independent air-safety panel has alleged that the aviation regulator spared the Delhi airport operator and Spicejet Airlines in its probe into an airfield accident involving a woman pilot that took place on December 6 at the Indira Gandhi International airport in Delhi.

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The Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Committee (Casac) complaint also stated that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official probing the matter asked the woman pilot in question to stay back well past midnight, which is illegal as per rules laid down by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

The incident took place when a Spicejet flight was taxiing out of a parking bay and its wing collided with a pillar causing serious damage to the plane.

According to the complaint sent by the Casac, the DGCA investigation blamed the pilot alone but overlooked larger safety lapses by the Delhi airport operator and the airline.

Casac also said that as per Delhi airport’s Aeronautical Information Published (AIP) - a mandatory document published periodically to acclimatise aviators about the airfield - bay number 130 allotted to the Spicejet aircraft , a Boeing 787-300, was meant for a smaller aircraft. “It needs to be probed if the aircraft was parked in the wrong bay and who was responsible for it,” said Captain Mohan Ranganathan, member, Casac.

The panel has also asked the DGCA to probe the airline’s management’s role in the incident.

“The official from DGCA should be hauled up for trying to pressurise the captain and for focusing only on apportioning the blame. He does not seem to have read ICAO Annex 13 or the DGCA safety manual,” added Captain Ranganathan.

The spokespersons of DIAL and Spicejet Airlines did not respond to HT’s calls or emails.

DGCA chief Arun Mishra said he that not seen the complaint but would look into the matter.

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