The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has sacked the flight safety chief of Air Pegasus from his post and suspended five pilots after a safety audit of the Bangalore-based regional carrier revealed serious safety violations.
The airline has been warned of strict action in case of any future violations, the regulator said.
The DGCA safety audit, first reported by HT on May 13, threw up “serious findings” related to flight safety.
“It was noticed that some of its pilots violated norms as flights operated by them descended at a very high rate even when close to the ground. In one case, a flight landing in Trivandrum would have overshot the runway had the runway length not been close to 11,000 feet. The pilots should have done a go-around in that case but instead continued with the approach,” said a DGCA official.
The audit was carried out in the last week of April.
“There was violation of flight duty time limitations (the maximum hours that crew can work), deficient training and violations regarding training. We have removed the airline’s flight safety head and suspended five pilots including one expat,” said an official.
Exhausted pilots being forced to work is a sensitive issue with regulators worldwide, and has been blamed for several fatal air crashes such as the Colgan Air crash in February 2009, and a more recent one to West Asia for which the official report has not yet been released.
Decor Aviation-promoted Air Pegasus operates to 16 sectors with Bangalore as its hub, and has a fleet of three ATR 72 aircraft. It launched operations in April last year.
“We have already taken corrective measures and submitted an action taken report to the DGCA,” said Air Pegasus Managing Director Shyson Thomas.