A SpiceJet pilot, who was grounded for allegedly submitting a fake flying license, resigned from service on Thursday.
The airline had suspended Captain Garima Passi, who had 1400 hours of flying experience with the airline, from flying pending an inquiry. “Garima Passi, was suspended from flying while we awaited the full investigation to be concluded. This morning she resigned from her job,” said a SpiceJet spokesperson.
Passi’s father, Rajinder Passi, is the air safety director with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in Delhi.
Sources told HT that Sabena Flying Academy in Arizona where Passi went for her commercial pilot license training in 2008 had expelled her for damaging an aircraft in an incident.
The Arizona institute had reportedly had said that Passi was inconsistent in almost everything while operating a flight and recommended that she stop flying.
Instructors also observed that she was scared of damaging another aircraft and had appealed for her expulsion.
After her expulsion, Passi joined Uttarakhand-based Amber Aviation and got her licence within a week of applying for it in 2009. “The ministry should investigate the role of Passi’s father in her getting the license,” said an air safety expert requesting anonymity.
DGCA chief Bharat Bhushan and civil aviation secretary Nasim Zaidi did not reply to HT’s query on whether they will take investigate Rajinder Passi’s role in the alleged fraud.
The incident has come to light at a time when more than 10,000 pilots’ licences are under scrutiny. At least 13 pilots and co-pilots are suspected to submitting fake licenses since the regulator began the crackdown on pilots with dubious records earlier this month.
Earlier this week the airline had sacked a commander and a co-pilot who were arrested by the Rajasthan police for submitting fake licences.