DGCA cancels ‘fake’ woman pilot`s licence

The licence of a woman pilot of no-frills airline IndiGo has been cancelled after she made a rough landing in Goa last month.

Updated: Feb 27, 2011, 15:54 PM IST

Chennai/New Delhi: The licence of a woman
pilot of no-frills airline IndiGo has been cancelled after she
made a rough landing in Goa last month, endangering several
lives and investigators later found she had allegedly faked
papers to get her permit to fly.

"Yes, it (commercial pilot`s licence) has been
cancelled. We will file a police complaint soon against the
pilot, Parminder Kaur Gulati," DGCA director general Bharat
Bhushan said.

"DGCA will carry detailed probe to ensure that such
things do not recur. We will take necessary steps
accordingly...," he said.

DGCA sources said the pilot while flying the private
Indigo airliner made a rough landing at Goa airport on January
11 using the nose wheel instead of the rear landing gear.

Investigations have revealed that she used the wrong
technique several times, the sources said.

According to DGCA, to obtain airline transport pilot
license, one needs to fly 1,500 flying hours and also required
to complete an examination.

The sources said the pilot while landing needs to use
the aircraft`s rear wheels to touchdown as the nose wheel is
not equipped to take the plane`s heavy weight.

DGCA would also probe whether any touts helped the
pilot obtain the license, sources said and added that the DGCA
was also contemplating filing police report against the pilot
on two counts -- of endangering safety of passengers and fraud
and forgery, but no decision has yet been taken.

The sources said the incident came to light when the
Airbus A-320 returned to Delhi from Goa and a routine
inspection found that its nosewheel was damaged.

The investigators then analysed the data of the
Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) of the aircraft, which the
sources claimed, showed that the lady captain had used the
wrong landing technique that caused the nosewheel damage.

Following the probe, it was also found that the papers
of Capt Gulati were not in order and enquiries into them
showed that the documents, required for getting a flying
license, were forged, the sources claimed.

When contacted, IndiGo president Aditya Ghosh said that the January incident was reported to DGCA and the airline
had itself instituted an investigation board, whose findings
were "accepted by DGCA".

He said the pilot was not only sent to DGCA for
corrective training but de-rostered last month itself.

"It was only last Thursday we were informed that there
are some discrepancies in the license issued to her by the
DGCA 2-3 years ago. As an airline, we can only rely on DGCA
license and records. So we will follow DGCA instructions on
this issue as well," Ghosh said.

"We are requesting DGCA to conduct a thorough inquiry
to ensure that there are no discrepancies in any other
licences or certificates issued by it to any pilot, engineer
or cabin attendant. We will proactively assist the aviation
regulator in this matter as there is absolutely no compromise
on safety," he added.