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Crash probe team's joyride criticised

Does a government-appointed committee probing an air crash need to travel to the airport from which the flight originated? Tushar Srivastava reports.

mumbai Updated: Sep 06, 2010 00:57 IST
Tushar Srivastava

Does a government-appointed committee probing an air crash need to travel to the airport from which the flight originated? Two members of the Court of Inquiry (CoI) probing the Air India Express crash at Mangalore on May 22, Air Marshal (Retd.) B.N. Gokhale and Group Captain Deepak Gaur did, flying from Mangalore to Dubai and back on August 6-7. "In order to assess various facets during this flight, (the two members) desired to carry out a familiarisation flight… ," says the mail that sought the ministry of civil aviation consent for the trip.

"There was no need for a trip to Dubai," said Robey Lal, former country manager, International Air Transport Association. "They could have familiarised themselves by taking off from Mangalore and landing soon after." S. N. Dwivedi, Secretary, CoI, said, "The flight was needed to understand the crew's problems."