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Senior Air India pilot grounded for five years

business Updated: Apr 16, 2013 22:44 IST
Tushar Srivastava
Tushar Srivastava
Hindustan Times
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In a rare incident, a senior Air India (AI) pilot who was stripped of his instructorship after being found tipsy has failed the breath analyser test yet again. The aviation regulator has decided to ground the pilot for five years.

The pilot, a senior commander held the rank of an instructor when he had first tested alcohol positive before operating a flight in June 2011. Instructors are the senior-most pilots who are appointed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to train other pilots to fly.

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The pilot had been stripped of his instructorship after the incident. On April 9, the pilot failed the breath analyser test again on the eve of operating a flight. DGCA chief Arun Mishra confirmed the incident. A detailed report has been forwarded by the airline to the regulator.

“We will suspend his flying licence for five years,” a DGCA official said.

As per DGCA rules, the flying licence of a pilot is suspended for three months for a first-offence of reporting to work while drunk. For a repeat offence, the flying licence is suspended for five years — effectively ending their career as licences lapse after five year.

When contacted for this story, the pilot refused to offer comments. An Air India spokesperson, while confirming the incident, said: “We will act as per the DGCA guidelines.”