Mumbai: ATC, 2 Air India pilots suspended after plane hits light pole
The directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) has suspended an air traffic controller and two pilots of Air India, who were operating a Boeing that hit a light pole at the Mumbai airport.
Although the collision, that took place early on Tuesday, did not hurt anyone or cause any serious damage to the Boeing 777-300ER, the aviation safety regulator took serious note of the matter as the Newark-bound plane had 447 people on board.
According to airport sources, pilots accused the air traffic control (ATC) official on duty of assigning a smaller taxiway which caused the collision. There are designated taxiways for single-aisle and twin-aisle planes. While narrow body type aircraft are assigned Taxiway Y, Taxiway H is reserved for the big birds.
But the regulator said the pilots operating a jumbo should be versed with the right taxiing lanes.
“Even if the ATC assigns a wrong taxiway, a seasoned pilot should stop the aircraft if he or she feels that taxi clearance is not available,” a senior DGCA official requesting anonymity said.
An AI spokesperson confirmed the incident.
The incident delayed the flight by about two and a half hours, airport officials added.