A government-appointed independent air safety panel has criticised the aviation safety regulator’s decision to let off two Jet Airways pilots who had been suspended for a month for fudging training records this year. One of the pilots is suspected to have filled in his own record — a serious safety violation.
The Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council (CASAC), set up after the Air India Express crash at Mangalore in 2010, produced fresh evidence against the two pilots and pressed for a harsher punishment.
Citing discrepancies in the training records of 2010, the safety panel has alleged that Captain PP Singh, a senior management pilot is a habitual offender. “The evidence indicates that Captain Singh’s training records in 2010 were also fudged. That means he has been flying without a valid licence,” said Captain Mohan Ranganathan, CASAC member.
The allegations were made on the basis of Singh’s training records that were submitted by the airline to the DGCA. The document shows that while Captain SB Contractor conducted a mandatory safety check, another senior pilot, conducted Captain Singh’s training. The panel pointed out at a striking resemblance in the handwriting of the two pilots. “We have asked the DGCA to appoint a handwriting expert and probe into the case,” added Ranganathan.
A Jet Airways spokesperson said, “We have concluded the necessary investigation and have submitted our findings to the DGCA.”