DGCA derosters SpiceJet pilots for landing before touchdown zone in Seychelles
Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), country’s aviation regulator, has derostered two SpiceJet pilots over safety concerns as they landed before the touchdown zone at Seychelles airport on Tuesday.
The incident took place when SpiceJet B737-800 aircraft from Chennai to Seychelles landed before touchdown zone. The aircraft landed safely and according to DGCA sources, there was no damage to the airport or the aircraft.
“Both pilots were off-rostered after the preliminary findings,’’ said a DGCA official. “The flight data recorder was reviewed and some manual error was found, after which the pilots were de-rostered,” the official added.
SpiceJet spokesperson said, “We have initiated an inquiry.”
According to data from flightradar24, a Swedish internet-based service that shows real-time commercial aircraft flight tracking information on a map, the flight that was scheduled to take off at 7am, took off at 10.34am (IST) and landed at around 2.30pm (IST) on runway 13.
“The flight landed safely but after the engine shut down, it was learnt that the operating crew made the aircraft land before touchdown zone. However, there is no damage to the aircraft or aerodrome property,” an airline source said.
Appreciating DGCA’s decision to de-roster the pilots, aviation safety expert Mohan Ranganathan said, “It is a serious incident because the touchdown zone is at least 1300ft from the threshold and if the aircraft landed short of the runway then it highlights poor judgment of the pilots and had they used vertical situation display instrument, they would have known well in time that they were landing short. The repercussions could have been serious like the aircraft could have been veered off the runway or there could have been structural damage too.”