Pilot had carried out 19 landings at Mangalore airport earlier | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Pilot had carried out 19 landings at Mangalore airport earlier

delhi Updated: May 22, 2010 19:09 IST

PTI
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The pilot of the ill-fated Air India plane, a British national of Serbian origin, had an experience of over 10,000 hours of flying and had carried out 19 landings at the Mangalore airport during the last two years, officials said.

The 53-year-old Capt Z Glusica had "fair amount" of experience in the Mangalore terrain, Civil Aviation Secretary Madhavan Nambiar told reporters in Delhi, seeking to dispel the impression that the pilot could have been unfamiliar with the airport's topography.

He had 10,200 hours of flying experience and had made 19 landings at the Mangalore airport during the last two years, Nambiar said.

Glusica's co-pilot H S Ahluwalia, who was based in Mangalore, had 66 landings to his credit at Mangalore airport, the Secretary said.

Air India Director (Personnel) Anup Srivastava said in Mumbai that Glusica had his commerical pilot's licence endorsed by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation, making him "capable" of flying in India.

Glusica, along with Ahluwalia, last flew into Mangalore on May 17, Srivastava said.

Ahluwalia was relatively new as he had begun flying here in April last year and had 3,750 hours of flying experience, he said.

The plane was two-and-a-half-year old and was air worthy, the Air India official said.

On the air-worthiness of the runway on which the mishap occurred, Nambiar said there have been 32,000 landings since 2006.