2 SpiceJet pilots who overshot Mumbai runway banned from flying for a year
Two pilots of the SpiceJet flight to Mumbai that overshot the runway with 160 passengers and remained stuck just off it for four days have been barred from flying for the next one year. The aviation regulator also ordered the pilot of the Boeing 737-800 plane to undergo “corrective training” before trying back into the plane again.
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation, which investigated the incident that had led to the closure of Mumbai airport’s main runway earlier this month, said the plane’s final approach was unstabilised when it touched down on the runway. By this time, the pilot had already missed out on half the runway.
“The final approach was unstabilised and aircraft touched down with high speed at approximately 1,600 metres from runway 27 threshold,” the regulator said in its order suspending his flying licence for a year.
The DGCA also underlined that pilots continued the un-stabilised approach with high speed, floated for a longer time and landed after consuming half the runway 27. “He failed to exercise due caution and also failed to take corrective measure, which resulted in runway excursion,” the order said.
Over the next four days, nearly 230 flights were cancelled and 400 more delayed because the airport’s main runway could not be used. The only Disabled Aircraft Retrieval Kit available in the country that was needed to pull out the plane was in Mangaluru to clear an Air India Express plane, which had overshot the runway there a few days earlier.
The aviation regulator subsequently also ordered six prominent airports to procure disabled aircraft removal kits (DARK).
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation had also issued show-cause notices to four senior SpiceJet officials over alleged safety lapses.
The alleged lapses pertain to incidents reported within 72 hours, in which three SpiceJet flights — Bhopal-Surat, Pune-Kolkata and Jaipur-Mumbai — overshot the runway on landing.