Troubles never seem to end for Air India. After striking pilots, the national carrier finds itself in the dock with one of its pilots not reporting a serious incident of mid-air turbulence that allegedly caused injuries to some of the crewmembers and passengers.
The incident occurred on July 5 on board the New Delhi-Shanghai flight of Air India (AI 348). The flight took off from the Indira Gandhi International Airport at 11.40 am and after cruising for about two hours, the plane hit an air pocket. The aircraft reportedly suffered such heavy turbulence that two crewmembers and some passengers suffered injuries. Baggage from the overhead cabin storage also fell down as the aircraft started moving violently.
One of the passengers, who had gone to the use the toilet despite being asked to sit and put on the seat belt by a crewmember, hit his head on the toilet door and sufferd an injury. The pilot, however, didn't report the incident to either to the airline management or the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), which is mandatory.
The pilot was expected to debrief airline officials at the airport about the incident and a print out of the flight data recorder should also have been provided.
"The crewmembers and two passengers have suffered slight injuries and bruises and they were provided first aid after the flight landed in Shanghai," said a senior Air India official who didn't wish to be named.
Air India CMD Rohit Nandan couldn't be reached for comments over phone despite repeated attempts.
"We have now received the report and there are several accounts of the incident. We have initiated an inquiry and the report would be ready within seven days," said DGCA Prashant Sukul.