Senior pilots including members of a government appointed expert panel set up after the Mangalore plane crash in 2010 on Monday opposed the aviation safety regulator's decision to suspend a Jet Airways pilot for opting for a go-around at Singapore airport.
Last week, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) grounded a Jet Airways check pilot after it found that he had aborted landing 70 feet before touchdown while operating a flight from Delhi to Singapore last October. The flight landed safely in its second attempt.
"Pilots across the world use go-around as a precautionary measure whenever they feel that the landing could be unsafe," said captain Mohan Ranganathan, a member of the Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council (Casac). Four Casac members including Ranganathan on Monday wrote to civil aviation secretary Nasim Zaidi to revoke the Jet Airways pilot's suspension.
DGCA chief, Bharat Bhushan, however, defended the move. "In this case the aircraft was descending at an extremely high speed which was owing to the pilot's error."
Senior pilots claimed that punishing pilots for a go-around could be detrimental for flight safety. "A DGCA order issued on June 2010, following the Mangalore crash also recommended go-arounds in case a pilot expects an unstabilised approach," said captain Girish Kaushik, a retired Jet Airways pilot.