DGCA suspends 2 IndiGo pilots for flying plane with tail support attached

NEW DELHI: Aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Thursday suspended two IndiGo pilots for two months for flying a Hyderabad-Vijaywada flight on July 24 with the tail support attached even though they were informed about it by the Air Traffic Control (ATC) immediately after take-off, an official said.

The period of suspension would be from July 24.

During loading or unloading of any kind of cargo in an aircraft, the tail support or ‘tail prop’ is used to prevent the plane from tipping over backwards.

“The pilots — Captain Amit Bansal and Captain Bharat Saini — were informed by the ATC immediately after take-off that their tail prop is still attached to their ATR-72 aircraft. However, the pilots decided to keep flying towards Vijaywada instead of returning,” the official of DGCA said.

“This could have caused structural damage to the ATR72 aircraft during the flight,” the official added.

The regulator had issued a show-cause notice to the two pilots on August 27, asking them to explain as to why action should not be taken against them.

“Both the pilots in their reply to the notices admitted that landing back in Hyderabad would have been a better decision,” the official stated.

On Thursday, the regulator decided to suspend both the pilots for a period of two months. “This period of two months would be calculated from July 24,” the official added.

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