A member of a government-appointed safety panel has reported to the aviation regulator about a lapse in crucial training involving two Jet Airways pilots. The complaint by Captain Mohan Ranganathan, member of the Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council (CASAC), on April 24, stated that Captain PP Singh, an Airbus commander with Jet Airways, had been operating flights, allegedly, without completing the mandatory proficiency checks.
The checks are mandatory twice a year to assess a pilot’s proficiency in the kind of aircraft he or she operates. However, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), the aviation regulator, is yet to take any action.
Ranganathan’s complaint also alleged that two airline officials —Captain SB Contractor, a senior pilot with the airline assigned to examine Captain Singh and the airline’s chief executive officer Nikos Kardassis—gave a false account of the case to the DGCA.
According to Kardassis’ statement to the DGCA (a copy of which is with HT) Captain Singh’s proficiency check was scheduled between 11.30pm and 4.30pm on February 10. This comprises two hours of training at the commander’s seat and a 30-minute session as co-pilot.
Kardassis told the DGCA that Captain Singh went for the check during the second half of the session owing to some office work.
A copy of the airline’s car duty sheet that records daily ground movement of pilots submitted by Ranganathan, however, contradicts this claim. For a schedule of 11.30pm to 4 pm, the second session should start at 1.30 pm. However, the airline vehicle log sheet shows Captain Singh was picked up from the Jet Airways headquarters at Andheri (E) at 2 pm. “Logically, it would take at least 30 minutes to reach the training facility for the check in Lokhandwala. This shows that he did not reach the facility on time,” said Captain Ranganathan
The data sheet said Captain Singh returned to the Jet Airways office at 5.10 pm against Kardassis’s claim that he went to the airport to operate a flight to Delhi. Secondly, there were two car movement entries to Captain Contractor’s name. He left the training facility at 1.05 pm and returned only at 4 pm. This indicates he did not conduct the session between 11 pm and 4.30pm.
The Jet Airways flight operation manual states these checks begin with a 30-minute briefing and conclude with debriefing session of the same duration.
DGCA chief Bharat Bhushan did not answer calls. A spokesperson for Jet Airways said: “All operational findings and queries about the case were responded to the satisfaction of the regulator."