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DGCA suspends two Jet pilots for 5 years over brawl on board London-Mumbai flight

The flight had 324 passengers, including two infants and 14 crew members. According to an internal report, the two pilots fought owing to ‘personal issues’.

mumbai Updated: Jan 24, 2018 11:23 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,DGCA,Jet Airways
The flight had 324 passengers, including two infants and 14 crew members. According to an internal report, the two pilots fought owing to ‘personal issues’. (FILE)

Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Tuesday suspended for five years the licences of two senior Jet Airways pilots for leaving the cockpit unattended during a mid-air brawl on a London-Mumbai flight on January 1. They were sacked by the airline after the incident in which a co-pilot allegedly slapped the female commander.

With the DGCA order, they have been barred from flying for any airline.

In a statement released on Tuesday, DGCA joint director general Lalit Gupta said, “In a flight of Jet Airways 9W-119 from London to Mumbai operated with B777 aircraft on 01.1.2018, the commander came out of cockpit about one hour before the touchdown complaining of being physically harassed by the co-pilot. Soon after co-pilot also came out of the cockpit leaving it unattended thereby jeopardising the safety of aircraft operations. DGCA has investigated the occurrence. Keeping in view serious safety lapses endangering the safety of aircraft operations, DGCA has suspended the privileges of license of both the involved pilots for a period of five years.”

The flight had 324 passengers, including two infants and 14 crew members. According to an internal report, the two pilots fought owing to ‘personal issues’.

The female commander returned to the cabin after a senior crew member’s request. The incident was reported to the airline after the flight landed in Mumbai.

First, the airline de-rostered the pilots with immediate effect, followed it up with their suspension on January 8.

Jet Airways had initially dismissed the fight as a “misunderstanding”. “A misunderstanding occurred between the cockpit crew of 9W119 London-Mumbai flight on January 1. However, the same was quickly resolved amicably and the flight with 324 guests, including two infants and 14 crew members completed its journey in Mumbai safely,” a Jet Airways spokesperson had

said.

First Published: Jan 24, 2018 00:32 IST