Senior AI pilot removed after being caught drunk
New Delhi: A senior Air India pilot, who was caught drunk just before he was to operate a flight out of Chennai last month, has been deprived of his Training Captain status and removed from all administrative duties for three years, official sources said on Thursday.
The move came after Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh took a strong view of reports about drunken pilots and sought details from the national carrier on Joseph, who was earlier suspended for three months following the incident.
Joseph, the airline's Deputy General Manager (Operations) in Chennai, had tested positive on alcohol in a pre-flight medical check on February 3. He was about to operate flight AI-671/672 on Chennai- Madurai-Chennai-Mumbai sector, which
was then operated by another commander.
The senior commander, who also held the charge of Flight Operations Inspector with aviation regulator DGCA, was among highest grade pilots in the country.
An FOI can carry out sanitisation checks in any Indian carrier and their pilots
too. As a Training Captain, Joseph used to hold the status of a check-pilot, examiner and instructor.
Air India has removed him from all these positions for three years following the incident and has reported back to the Minister, the sources said.
Immediately after he tested positive on the Alco sensor, Joseph was taken off the roster for three months and later removed from all administrative duties "till further notice", they said, adding that disciplinary action was being initiated
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has taken a strong stand against drunken pilots, recommending strongest possible action. It has also asked airlines to improve the Alco sensors to carry out these pre-flight checks.