Air India’s (AI) pilots have raised serious doubts about the airline’s flight safety.
With less than two weeks to go for the Commonwealth Games, the 700-member strong ICPA (Indian Commercial Pilots Association) – the biggest AI pilot association – has written to the management complaining about the “pathetic state” of training facilities the airline’s Central Training Establishment (CTE), Hyderabad. Air India is the official carrier for the Commonwealth Games, which start from October 3.
Sent on September 13, the confidential ICPA mail points out that “more than half of the 522 fatalities in airline accidents in the US since 2000 are linked to problems with simulators”. Simulators are replicas of aircraft cockpits that trainee pilots use to practice on.
The association said the Airbus A320 simulators at the training centre were two decades old. While “in other airlines simulators are maintained in ‘top-class’ condition”, says the pilots’ mail, the ones in CTE are “in pathetic state”.
Trainee pilots, the ICPA said, were unable to get a feel of more than half of the emergency situations that can arise while flying “as the state of simulators does not permit their simulation”.
“We deny that the level of fidelity has drastically reduced. All mandatory training courses are done as per DGCA norms,” AI said in an email to HT.