Every third shortlisted candidate who appeared for pilot interviews at Air India since December 2015 failed to clear a crucial test to analyse their psychological health.
The rejected pilots had cleared the simulator and technical exam before failing the psychometric test, Air India sources told HT.
In numbers, this comes to 130 of 413 candidates who failed the test that was introduced by most since Indian carriers after the co-pilot of a Germanwings flight crashed his plane into the Swiss Alps in March 2015, killing all 150 on board. He was subsequently discovered to have been suffering from psychological issues for several years.
However, it was not known if any of the pilots rejected by Air India found employment with any of the private carriers.
“If a candidate is declared unfit in the psychiatric evaluation by one airline, can he be considered fit for any other flying position? Shouldn’t the results be shared with the DGCA and other airlines?” an aviation expert said.
AI sources said the rejected pilots had cleared the simulator and technical exam before failing the psychometric analysis.
Seventy five of 165 pilots who cleared the technical exam failed in the psychometric test in December, 2015 while 55 out of 248 who cleared the simulator tests flunked the written psychometric tests in May,2016, sources told HT.
AI introduced written psychometric tests in December.
In March last year, 36 of 160 shortlisted candidates who appeared for pilot interviews had also failed in the “psychological assessment” conducted by a panel that included a psychologist from the Indian Air Force, first reported by HT on May 15, 2015.
“AI gives high priority to safety of operations. There cannot be any compromise on entry standards,” said an AI spokesperson.
Based on recommendations made by a committee headed by joint director general Lalit Gupta, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) last year mandated regular monitoring of pilots’ mental health.