Jet Airways pilots de-rostered for napping, negligence while on duty

In a frightening incident, a Brussels-bound Jet Airways flight from Mumbai suddenly dropped 5,000 feet in the Ankara airspace over Turkey as the commander of the Boeing 777 aircraft was sleeping and thy co-pilot was busy with her tablet.

Zee Media Bureau/Ritesh K Srivastava

New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Thursday suspended two Jet Airways pilots for negligence and napping while on board a Mumbai-Brussels boud flight that plunged 5000 feet last Friday.

The DGCA has appointed a 3 member team to do a training audit of Jet Airways to find out whether there are any shortcomings in their training.

The team has been asked to submit its report by 31st August.

Meanwhile, Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau has been asked to conduct a detailed investigation into the incident, which would take 4 to 5 months following which it would be possible to determine the quantum of penalty , if at all , for the pilots.

The airlines also issued a statement saying, “Jet Airways has initiated an internal inquiry into the matter. The airline is also extending all co-operation in the matter to the DGCA. Safety is of paramount importance to Jet Airways, as is also the welfare of our guests and crew and the airline will always take appropriate steps to ensure the same."

Reacting to the issue, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapati Raju too said that action will be taken against the two as per law.

"Enquiry is going on, so we`ll await the report. But these things should not happen. The piolts` licences have been suspended. Actions will be taken as per law," said Civil Aviation Minister.

The Jet Airways aircraft flying from Mumbai to Brussels last Friday suddenly dropped 5,000 feet in the Ankara airspace over Turkey.

At the time of the incident, the commander of the flight was taking a `controlled rest`, which means a nap as per the rules. The co-pilot has claimed she was busy on her tablet and did not notice that the aircraft had lost altitude.

A call from an alarmed Ankara ATC is what jolted the pilots into action.

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