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DGCA lens on Jet Airways, pilots suspended

HT Correspondent , Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 14, 2014
First Published: 14:15 IST(14/8/2014) | Last Updated: 06:56 IST(15/8/2014)

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has ordered a training audit of Jet Airways, India’s second largest airline, and suspended the two pilots operating the Mumbai-Brussels-Newark flight that plunged almost 5,000 feet while flying over Turkish airspace last Friday.

While the flight’s commander was asleep (taking controlled rest) at the time of the incident, the co-pilot was busy on her electronic flight bag — a tablet that has all aircraft documents loaded on it.

Sources said the pilots did not report the incident in their post-flight report, which they are required to do as per rules, and kept on with regular flying till the DGCA was tipped off about the incident through an anonymous message. The DGCA will also inquire into whether the co-pilot, too, had dozed off.

: Jet Airways flight plunges 5,000 feet as pilots fall asleep

“The DGCA has viewed this as a serious incident,” the aviation ministry said in a statement. There were around 280 passengers on board the aircraft.

“Both the pilots have been taken off the roster pending inquiry. They were also summoned on Wednesday and questioned about the incident. DGCA has appointed a three-member team to do a training audit of Jet airways to find out whether there are any shortcomings in their training,” the ministry said.

The team will submit its report by August 31 while the aircraft accident investigation bureau of the DGCA will conduct a separate inquiry. Jet has initiated an internal inquiry into the matter. The airline said it was extending all cooperation to the DGCA.

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