Pro Active Initiatives-Aviation Safety India-Aviation Safety Survey-Feb 20

Dear Sir,

Greetings from Aviation Safety Management Society of India (ASMSI).

The Aviation Safety Survey for the month of Feb 20 is attached for your kind information.

Objective of the survey is to create awareness among all stakeholders, related to Aviation and Aviation Safety. It is essential that we learn lessons from past occurrences and cooperate and support the initiatives, taken by DGCA and ASMSI to improve Aviation Safety Environments.

During the month of Feb, 20, Honorable Minister of Civil Aviation briefed Rajya Sabha on Aviation Safety and informed that most of the airlines are resorting to under reporting of safety occurrences. He further stated that number of Safety Norms related to Flight Operations Quality Assurance (FOQA), implementation of Safety Management System (SMS) and analysis of Flight Data Recordings are being violated by the Airlines.

ASMSI is of the view that fear of investigations, inquiries, suspension and loss of reputation are some of the reasons of lack of reporting occurrences by the Operators and Pilots. DGCA may consider implementing Just Culture environments in letter and spirit which may go a long way in encouraging Operators,to report occurrences without any apprehension.

Two Pilots were suspended for unsafe landing at Mangalore airport by Spice jet aircraft. The margin of safety during approach and landing is minimum. Hence, it is essential that both the Pilots are fully involved, conduct proper approach briefing,  are situationally aware at all times, have good knowledge, take corrective action in time, follow SOP’s and don’t hesitate to go around in case of unstabilised approach, to ensure a safe landing. DGCA has been laying great emphasis on these aspects.Hope the Pilots will learn appropriate lessons from this and many past similar incidents.

Another incident of hard landing by Indigo aircraft at Raipur was caused due to lack of timely action and may be overconfidence,on the part of the Line Training Captain and fixation on the part of Pilot flying under supervision.

A near disaster situation was averted at Pune Airport when Air India aircraft was forced to initiate premature take off to avoid collision with jeep near runway, leading to the rear most portion of the fuselage scrapping the runway. Better communication, alertness, good situational awareness and strict adherence to SOP’s by the ATC, Runway Inspection Team and the Pilots is of paramount importance to prevent such occurrences.s

Engine Fire on Go Air aircraft due to FOD highlights the need to ensure inspection and removal of FOD’s at regular intervals from the aircraft/Helicopter maneuvering areas. 

In an other incident, Spice Jet Pilots took the right decision to carry out precautionary landing suspecting fuel leak.

Crash of Trainer Aircraft at Patiala Flying Club and crash of MIG 29 belonging to Indian Navy at Goa were the unfortunate accidents during the month of February.

DGCA has been quite proactive and has been undertaking regular Inspections and Audits to identify non-compliances and weak areas and is promptly taking remedial measures. DGCA has issued instructions to conduct Psychoactive Substance Test on Pilots. Further, six airports have been instructed to procure Disabled Aircraft Recovery Kits (DARK) on priority basis. DARK was a long standing essential requirement which has received the attention of DGCA.

Unfortunate incident of misbehavior by the Captain of the Aircraft with a wheel chair needing Senior Citizen and her daughter, has been promptly acted upon by the DGCA and the Captain has been rightly suspended.

I request all the stakeholders to go through the Aviation Safety Survey Report Feb-20, learn appropriate lessons and make positive contribution to promote safety.

ASMSI will continue to play its constructive role in sharing knowledge and awareness, among maximum number of Aviation Professionals, particularly the Pilots, to enhance aviation safety environment in the country.

Kindly share the Aviation Safety Survey -Feb 20, among your staff,friends and colleagues from Aviation , to help spread message of safety.

ASMSI wishes you all and your families’ good health, happiness and Safety from CORONA.

Thanking youWith warm RegardsAir Cmde BS Siwach AVSM YSM VM (Veteran)Director General (9871251590)Aviation Safety Management Society of IndiaNew


Airlines under-reporting safety incidents: Puri

In Parliament, Union Minister says DGCA audit has revealed a severe shortage of skilled staff in key aviation departments.

On DGCA’s safety audit of airlines has exposed several serious deficiencies in the implementation of aviation safety norms.

In the Rajya Sabha on February 5, Puri said the aviation watchdog found airlines often ignored findings of Flight Operation Quality Assurance (FOQA) system that is supposed to monitor safety and efficiency of flight operations, ATC procedures and aircraft design/maintenance. FOQA data is recorded by all airlines every month to enable them to take corrective actions before problems occur. FOQA findings are kept confidential.

Puri’s reply also mentioned that the airlines were not reporting the safety incidents or occurrences properly due to paucity of skilled staff. “The Maintenance Control Centre (MCC) of the airlines were not adequately staffed with technically qualified personnel. Implementation of Safety Management System (SMS) was deficient,” he said.

Puri also said the quantum of Flight Data Recorder (FDR) data analysed under FOQA is not as per the Civil Aviation Requirements (CAR). CAR are detailed laid down procedures by DGCA from safety perspective which are continuously updated. “Inspection schedules are not revised. Untrained staff were allocated at check-in counters. Flight Crew rostering software was not upgraded,” he stated

Pilots have been alleging that the rostering process is manipulated by the airlines maximizing their duty hours and compromising essential rest which could lead to pilot fatigue and endanger safety.

Comments by ASMSI

It is encouraging sign that the violation of the Safety Norms has received the attention of the Minister of Civil Aviation who has briefed Rajya Sabha about the lapses on Safety front.

Most of the Airlines try to avoid reporting Incidents as far as possible due to fear of enquiry, investigation, suspension, loss of reputation and adverse comments from DGCA. In order to encourage the Pilots, Airlines and General Aviation to report all the incidents, it is essential for the DGCA to implement the concept of just culture in letter and spirit. As per the provisions of Just Culture, an honest and genuine error which may be due to error of judgment or skill is not punished but at the same time violation of rules,regulations,orders,instructions and SOP’s  etc., disobedience of orders and habitual offenders are not spared. Individuals or organisations are unwilling to report their errors if they know that the reporting may lead to action against them. Unfortunately, there is lack of reporting culture which is essential for fostering safety culture.

The airlines also have been found to be taking number of short cuts like utilization of untrained /poorly trained employees, lack of implementation of SMS and inadequate follow up action on the findings and recommendation of FOQA. Deficiencies in the various areas of safety are a cause of serious concern.

Manipulation of rostering process by some airlines has come to light due to fearless conduct of audits and raising of audit reports by the DGCA. We are sure that DGCA will target the Accountable Executives who are directly responsible to DGCA for ensuring that no safety compromises take place in their organization.

Shortage of skilled manpower with the airline which are expanding at a very fast rate, needs urgent attention of the Regulator. Although, National Aviation University has been established to provide Aviation related knowledge and skills through various training programs, yet it may not meet the heavy demand of the fast expanding Aviation Industry. Hence there is a need to open more Aviation Training Centers of excellence in Private Sector to meet the ever increasing demand of skilled manpower for the Aviation Sector. India should not only have adequate capacity for meeting its own demands but should also attract students from other countries as well.

DGCA is doing a great job in undertaking the Safety Audits and identifying the weak areas and Non Compliances in a proactive manner. However, unless the follow up action is taken sincerely by the Airlines and General Aviation on the recommendations or instructions of the DGCA, the safety will continue to suffer.


DGCA suspends IndiGo captain for misbehaving with wheelchair bound senior citizen

NEW DELHI: The aviation regulator on Monday suspended an IndiGo captain’s flying license for three months after its probe found that the pilot had behaved aggressively with a wheelchair-bound senior citizen and her daughter on a Chennai-Bengaluru flight last month.

The daughter had complained on social media on January 14, a day after her harrowing experience, following which Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) chief Arun Kumar had ordered a probe into the issue and the senior pilot was grounded.

The altercation had happened when during deplaning in Bengaluru, a lady passenger asked the lead cabin crew for an early wheelchair assistance for her 75-year-old mother. The pilot-in-command (PIC) intervened at this point, leading to an altercation.

The regulator’s probe into the behavior of January 13’s 6E-806 PIC has found that he had “misused his authority in intimidating and threatening the wheelchair-bound passenger and her attendant by saying that they will be handed over to CISF and a police case will be registered against them for unruly behaviour.”

The PIC, says the probe report, “further directed IndiGo security staff to detain both the lady passengers from deplaning. The PIC exhibited aggression… (He) also insisted on an apology letter from the(two), which further delayed the matter and the passengers were detained for about 75 minutes after the start of de-boarding process of the flight.”

“The airline has informed the aviation ministry that the pilot has been off-rostered (meaning will not be assigned flights) pending full inquiry,” Puri had Tweeted on January 14.

The DGCA ordered a probe and issued a show cause notice to the PIC. “After examining the reply of the PIC to the show cause notice, it was established that (his) attitude towards the wheelchair-bound senior citizen passenger was intimidating, threatening and lacked compassion. His actions led to avoidable detention of wheelchair bound passenger. He exhibited lack of ability in managing threat and error situation especially when he was to operate another commercial flight after a short duration, DGCA has suspended the license held by the PIC for a period of three months,” said a senior DGCA official.

Comments by ASMSI

We thank DGCA for appropriate action against the Pilot for intimidating, threatening and showing lack of compassion towards a wheelchair bound Senior Citizen passenger and her daughter. Such insensitive behavior is not acceptable from Pilots, Cabin Crew and Ground Staff. Hopefully, the strict action by DGCA will go a long way in disciplining the concerned employees.


Two SpiceJet pilots’ licences suspended for unsafe landing at Mangalore airport

NEW DELHI: Flying licenses of two Spice Jet pilots have been suspended for 4.5 months for carrying out an unstabilised landing at the tabletop runway of Mangalore airport and “jeopardizing safety of the aircraft and passengers”. Runway edge lights of this airport were found damaged after a SpiceJet Boeing 737 flew in Mangalore from Dubai on October 31, 2019.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) probed the unstabilised landing of the B737 (VT-SLI). It issued show cause notices to the pilot-in-command (PIC) and first officer, seeking explanation from them for this landing.

A senior DGCA official said: “Our investigation has revealed that the aircraft touched down left of the centerline and deviated further to the left. The delayed corrective input by the crew led to damage of three runway edge lights.”

“Reply to the show cause notice (to the pilots) was not satisfactory on following grounds: Delayed corrective input by the crew after touchdown led the aircraft deviating further left and jeopardizing the safety of the aircraft and the passengers. DGCA has suspended the license held by the PIC and first officer for 4.5 months (135 days) from the date of incident,” the official added.

Comments by ASMSI

Notwithstanding the clear instructions by the DGCA that the Pilots should not continue the approach to land if they are not stabilized on approach by 1000 Ft in IMC conditions and 500 Ft in VMC conditions, number of pilots ignore this aspect because of misplaced confidence in their ability to be able to manage to land safely, ego, pride and self-esteem or fear of questioning by ATC, Regulator or their company. Delayed control inputs to make corrections or delayed decision has led to number of such accidents.

DGCA has clearly mentioned in the CAR that if the Pilots are not stabilised by the stipulated heights, they should not hesitate to go around or divert if required. ATC, DGCA or the Operator will ask no questions from the Pilot for resorting to missed approach or diversion. Going around in case of stabilized approach does not reflect on the performance of a Pilot.

In spite of DGCA instructions, large percentage of Pilots have been found to be not going round when situation demands. It has also been found that a number of Pilots do not follow SOP’s. The Operators needs to address these issues on priority basis.

Most of the accidents occur during approach and landing phase since the safety margin during this phase is minimum. Hence, it is essential for the Pilots to carry out proper approach briefing, be situationally aware at all times, be alert, vigilant and never be complacent till the aircraft has switched off and secured in the designated bay.

For better Situational Awareness, it is essential that the Pilots have good knowledge about their Aircraft, its systems, limitations, emergency procedure ,Sop’s, and other aspects of their flight under different weather and terrain conditions.


DGCA report on Indigo Airbus A-320 at Raipur on Dec 14th 2016, hard landing at +3.164G

An Indigo Airbus A320-200, registration VT-IGK performing flight 6E-201 from Delhi to Raipur (India) with 167 passengers and 7 crew, performed an ILS approach to Raipur’s runway 24, touched down at +2.512G, bounced and touched down a second time at +3.164G. The aircraft rolled out without further incident and taxied to the apron. There were no injuries and no damage to the aircraft.

On Feb 12th 2020 India’s DGCA released their final report concluding the probable causes of the incident were:

The incident occurred due to inadequate flare by the co-pilot during landing.

Delayed decision by the PIC and not initiating the go-around timely are the contributory factors to the incident.

The DGCA reported the first officer (35, CPL, 351 hours total, 61 hours on type) was pilot flying under supervision (Supervised Line Flying), the captain (40, ATPL, 9801 hours total, 6827 hours on type in command) was pilot monitoring. The captain also authorised to act as Line Training Captain.

Following a correct approach briefing the first officer performed a fully stabilized ILS approach to runway 24 until 50 feet AGL, but then did not provide sufficient inputs to flare the aircraft, the captain intervened but could not prevent the aircraft to touch down at +2.512G, the aircraft bounced and touched down a second time at +3.164G above the structural limit of +2.6G. The aircraft did not sustain any damage.

The DGCA wrote with respect to the flight data recorder:

PIC was continuously monitoring the flight parameters and aircraft configuration. However, no input by the PIC is noticed and at last at 8ft above the runway, he tried to give the pitch input. Pitch increased from 2.1o at 8ft to 4.9o at the time of touch-down within a period of 0.875 seconds. The vertical acceleration at the time of first touch-down was recorded 2.512g. Aircraft bounced and again touched-down the runway with pitch angle 6.3o, at ROD 668ft/min with vertical acceleration of 3.164g. However, no response from the FO recorded during and after the touch down.

The DGCA analysed:

First officer was continuously responding instructions of PIC. After passing 50ft, weak flare was noticed by PIC and advised the FO to correct the same. First Officer also admitted that after 50ft, flare was not adequate. PIC advised her to flare the aircraft and at the last he gave the pitch input. At the same time the aircraft touched the ground, bounced and made the hard landing. During her another submission, she submitted that as per earlier briefing she was totally focused on maintaining the center line and did not give the adequate flare input in time. When PIC gave the flare input, aircraft landed hard on main gear. In view of above, it is observed that First Officer was not focussed on the tasks she had to perform during the approach & landing. Also, PIC noticed weak flare, but appropriate action by the PIC was not taken timely. He had to initiate Go-around, if he already noticed weak flare leading to unstabilised approach.

Comments by ASMSI

The serious incident which could have resulted into a serious accident, occurred due to fixation of the Pilot Flying and lack of alertness, delayed decision and may be overconfidence on the part of the Pilot supervising. The Pilot Flying has stated that she was more focussed on maintaining centerline and failed to notice the correct flare attitude. Due to her fixation on maintaining center line, she did not realize that the flare attitude is shallow. If the Pilot supervising was alert, he would have increased the flare attitude in time to the recommended attitude rather than cautioning the Pilot Flying about the inadequate flare attitude and then raising the attitude himself which was rather late. In such situations, decision has to be taken in a fraction of second and any delay can be serious.

Captain had almost 10000 hrs of flying with around 7000 hrs on type. He was also Line Training Captain. With this kind of experience and status, there is likelihood of the Captain to become overconfident. Some Instructors, in order to provide confidence and training value to the Pilot under training tend to give more leeway to the trainee for self realisation and corrections. However, on commercial aircraft, one cannot afford such luxury since the consequences of delayed decision to take over controls can lead to catastrophic consequences impacting passenger safety.

The need for the Pilot Flying and Pilot Monitoring to remain situationally aware, fully involved, alert, vigilant and not being complacent cannot be overemphasized. Senior Pilots, Instructors with vast experience tend to become overconfident. A mature and responsible conduct is expected from Senior Pilots and they must remain grounded lest they compromise safety.


Disaster averted: Jeep on runway forces Air India plane to lift off early from Pune

NEW DELHI: An Air India aircraft on high speed take off roll at Pune airport Saturday, 15 Feb 2020 morning was forced to get airborne earlier than planned to avoid a possible collision with a jeep that was dangerously near the airstrip. The aircraft had a speed of 220 kmph when an alert Captain Vikram Singh Besoa and first officer Mansika Harlan decided to go for early rotation — lifting nose wheel off the ground — instead of completing the take off roll as planned before doing so. The jeep belongs to Indian Air Force (IAF), which operates the Pune defense airfield, and there was also a man near the runway.

The rear section of Airbus A321, which has a longer fuselage than A320, scraped the runway in the process. Luckily it (VT-PPU) took off uneventfully at 7.55 am and flew all the 190 on board, including 180 passengers, safely to its destination Delhi as AI 852 where it landed at 10.17 am. “Prima facie, Captains Besoa and Harlan have prevented a disaster,” said a senior pilot.

Damage on the fuselage was discovered during inspection of the aircraft before being released for the next flight it was to operate to Srinagar as AI 825. AI has grounded the aircraft for checks and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is probing this incident.

In a statement, IAF confirmed that on Saturday morning “a service vehicle was cleared for routine task on the runway at Pune airfield. It reached close to the runway at a time when an Air India flight was on the take off roll.”

“Due to the presence of the vehicle near runway, the AI pilot had to do an earlier rotation, (earlier) than planned by the crew of the aircraft. The AI aircraft has landed safely in Delhi. The matter is under investigation by IAF,” the statement added.

An AI spokesman said: “The A321 aircraft, which came from Pune as AI 852, … was observed to have certain marks towards the (lower end)…. It has been withdrawn for the detailed investigation. The CVR (cockpit voice recorder) and SSFDR (flight data) readouts would be carried out and the findings shared appropriately.”

As per protocol, the crew has been taken off flying duty for so that they are available for the investigation. “We will have interaction with them shortly. IAF has been requested to preserve ATC recording for investigation,” said a DGCA official.

The pilots’ presence of mind and quick action has come in for praise. “The average decision speed (V1) — by which any decision to reject a takeoff must be made — for an A321 is 240-250 kmph, depending on various factors like temperature and weight of aircraft. The Pune-Delhi flight may have been below V1 but averting take off might have meant ramming the jeep and a disaster. So the pilots decided to get airborne as soon as possible. The A321 has a longer fuselage (compared to A320) and in almost all tail scrape/strikes involving this aircraft, the same is realised on seeing the marks after landing,” said one of the senior most commanders of AI.

Comments by ASMSI

Absolutely, a disaster situation was averted by the Pilot and he should be commended for the same. The Pilot justifiably had panicked when he sighted the Jeep and appears to have raised the attitude higher than normal for takeoff, thus scrapping his tail. We thank the providence for saving this catastrophic situation. Lack of adequate communication between ATC, Pilot and the runway inspection team/vehicles can result in serious situations. Absent mindedness, lack of alertness, situational awareness and proper communication can lead to disastrous consequences. Hence, ATC, Pilots and vehicles required for runway inspection etc. should remain ever vigilant.


Rajiv Bansal appointed Air India chief

NEW DELHI: The government on Thursday, 13 Feb 2020 appointed senior IAS officer Rajiv Bansal as the chairman and managing director of Air India (AI). Bansal, currently additional secretary in petroleum ministry, had held additional charge of AI chief in August 2017 for about four months when the then chairman Ashwani Lohani was moved to Railway Board.

After retiring from Railway, Lohani was made AI CMD last February for a year and has completed his second term.

Bansal will take charge as AI chairman from Lohani at a time when the divestment process of the airline is on and bids have been invited.

Rajiv Bansal, an IAS officer of Nagaland cadre, is a civil engineer from IIT Delhi. In his long career, he has served as secretary, Central Electricity Regulatory Commission; joint secretary in the department of heavy industries and director in aviation ministry. He has earlier been on the boards of BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited), National Aviation Company of India Ltd — the short-lived name of Air India and Indian Airlines after the two were merged in 2007 — and Alliance Air, among other organisations.


Domestic air passenger traffic increased by 2.2% in January: DGCA

New Delhi: The domestic air passenger traffic in January increased by 2.2 per cent to 1.27 crore compared to the same month in 2019, according to data released by aviation regulator DGCA on Monday.

In comparison, the growth in domestic traffic in December 2019 was 2.56 per cent compared to December 2018.

The passenger load factors of Air India, Spice Jet, Go Air, Indigo, Air Asia India declined in January 2020 as compared to December last year, as per the DGCA data.

The passenger load factor measures the seat capacity utilisation of the airline.

DGCA stated in its report, “The passenger load factor in the month of January 2020 has shown decreasing trend compared to previous month due to end of tourist season.”

With 75.7 per cent, Air Asia India was number one in on-time performance (OTP) measured at four metro cities — Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad and Mumbai.

IndiGo at 74 per cent and Vistara at 70.2 per cent were number two and number three respectively on OTP performance at these four cities.

IndiGo maintained its lead position with 47.9 per cent share of the domestic passenger market in January 2020, the data showed.

Spice Jet’s market share increased from 16.5 per cent in December to 16.6 per cent in January, giving it the number two spot, as per the data.

The market share of Air India, GoAir, Air Asia India and Vistara was 11.6 per cent, 9.8 per cent, 6.9 per cent and 6.5 per cent respectively last month.

In January, a total of 798 passenger-related complaints were received by the domestic airlines, according to the DGCA data.

The number of complaints per 10,000 passengers carried for the month of December was around 0.62.

Among major domestic airlines, Air India topped the list of passenger grievances with 1.9 complaints per 10,000 passengers in September, while GoAir was on number two position with 1 complaint per 10,000 passengers, as per the DGCA data.


Go Air Ahmedabad-Bengaluru flight scare after engine catches fire, all passengers safe

Bengaluru-bound Go Air flight’s engine caught fire on at Ahmedabad airport Tuesday morning. The fire has been, however, doused and all passengers are safe.

In a statement on Tuesday, GoAir said that the right engine of the Ahmedabad-Bengaluru flight suffered damage, which resulted in a small fire.

“The right engine of GoAir Ahmedabad to Bengaluru flight suspected to have suffered from a foreign object damage while on take-off roll. The suspected FOD resulted in a small fire which has been doused. All passengers and crew are safe,” GoAir said in a statement.

The airlines added that no emergency evacuation was deemed necessary and that the passengers will be deplaned after the aircraft is towed off the runway.

Comments by ASMSI

FOD,s are a major hazard and all out efforts must be made by the Airport Operator to ensure that there are no FOD’s in the Parking Bays,Maneouvering Area, Taxi tracks and Runway. Regular sweeping and inspection of these areas must be undertaken and the concerned staff should be sensitized about the hazard that can be posed by FOD.


Soon, kits to get stuck planes off runway at six airports

NEW DELHI: Aircraft stuck on runways will not be able to hold up and delay traffic by September, with major airports set to install six Disabled Aircraft Recovery Kit (DARK) systems.

In July last year that the aviation regulator had asked operators of Bengaluru, New Delhi and Mumbai, along with the Airports Authority of India (AAI), to buy six such systems.

“Bengaluru airport will be the first to install DARK in June. Airports in Delhi, Mumbai and three AAI airports will install the equipment by September,” said a senior Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official who did not want to be identified. The official said operators have updated DGCA on status of the acquisitions.

DARK is used to clear aircraft that veer off the runway, blocking it. There is only one kit in India at present, owned by national carrier Air India.

The need for more was felt after a SpiceJet aircraft overshot the runway in Mumbai during bad weather and got stuck, leading to closure of the main runway, last year. Hundreds of flights were cancelled and delayed, leading to a spike in fares too. The SpiceJet plane could only be removed after 90 hours as the kit was in Mangalore for retrieving an Air India Express aircraft.

DGCA chief Arun Kumar took serious note and asked airport operators to have DARK to ensure immediate aircraft retrieval — especially during bad weather — and resume normal operations.

Comments by ASMSI

It is a very Pro Active action by DGCA to instruct 6 major airports to acquire Disabled Aircraft Recovery Kit. It is essential for speedy resumption of normal operations at the airport in the event of the aircraft getting disabled on the runway or in close vicinity. Last year couple of aircraft had gone out of runway during monsoon period and Spice Jet aircraft had got badly stuck in a position which prevented use of Runway by other aircraft. A Disabled Aircraft Recovery Kit could have taken the stuck Spice Jet Aircraft away from the runway which would have avoided cancellation of large number of flights. Our compliments to DGCA for this proactive step. Hopefully, before the onset of Monsoons, the Recovery Kits would be procured and made operational.


Indigo flight returns to terminal after two passengers try to open aircraft door while taxiing

NEW DELHI: A Delhi-Jeddah IndiGo flight had to return to Delhi Airport on Tuesday night after taxiing for take off when two passengers created a scene inside the aircraft as two of their co-passengers were off-loaded from the flight due to losing their boarding card.

According to sources, a group of 110 people from Srinagar were travelling via Delhi to Jeddah. Two of them lost their connecting boarding card and were not allowed to board the the Airbus A321 (VT-IUH) that was to operate from Delhi to Jeddah as 6E 1741.

“While the aircraft was taxiing, the group leader demanded that the two passengers be accepted on board. The IndiGo crew tried to pacify this person and asked him to take his seat as the aircraft was taxiing. But two on board reportedly got very agitated and tried to open the aircraft door to stop it. When they resorted to this, the captain decided to return to the terminal where two male and three women passengers were offloaded with their three checked-in bags,” said an official.

A complete anti-sabotage drill was performed. The aircraft, which has a schedule departure time of 8.10 pm, finally took off with a delay of three hours.

An IndiGo spokesperson said: “We confirm the incident on 6E1741 operating from Delhi to Jeddah on February 18, 2020. Some passengers displayed unruly behaviour and were offloaded to continue flight operations. A report has been filed with the relevant authorities as per protocol.”


DGCA introduces tests to check pilots for psychoactive substances

NEW DELHI: In an attempt to ensure that pilots flying your planes or ATC officers guiding them are not high on dope or other such drugs, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to has ordered to now test flight crew and air traffic controllers (ATCO) for such drugs.

DGCA chief Arun Kumar has ordered “random drug testing for the consumption of (10) psychoactive substances” like cocaine, marijuana/hashish, MDMA or ecstasy and morphine/opiate. A pilot or ATCO testing positive for drug abuse for the first time will be grounded and made to undergo de-addiction/rehabilitation programme. Failing for the second time will mean cancellation of licence, which means such a person will not be able to work as a pilot or controller again.

According to the order these tests will be carried out post-flight (for crew) or post-shift (for ATCOs). People refusing to undergo this test “shall be removed from the safety sensitive duties until they clear detailed drug testing profile within a week, failing which the license of the involved person shall be suspended for three years.

Testing will be done by a DGCA-authorised laboratory at six airports of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad in phase 1. Airlines and Airports Authority of India (which provides ATC services) “shall ensure that at least 10% of (their flight crew and ATCOs) are covered in a year.”

Testing will be done on urine samples collected from the randomly selected employees. Samples shall be collected only with consent of the person required to undergo test.

Apart from random checks, pilots and ATCOs will have to be tested for drug abuse at three stages: before getting hired; after an accident and follow-up testing of confirmed cases. All positive cases will have to be reported the DGCA within 24 hours.

Comments by ASMSI

A timely initiative by DGCA to introduce tests to Check Pilots, Air Trafiic Controller and other employees involved in Airside operations for use of psychoactive substance. Besides ensuring safety, this step will also ensure better Physical and Mental health of the concerned people.


Air Force Pilot Killed As Trainer Aircraft Crashes In Punjab’s Patiala

Air Force Pilot Killed As Trainer Aircraft Crashes In Punjab’s Patiala A Pipistrel Virus SW 80 trainer aircraft crashed soon after taking off from the Patiala Aviation Club airport, killing Wing Commander GS Cheema, an official spokesperson said.

Patiala: A micro light aircraft crashed on Monday in the Army cantonment area, killing an Indian Air Force pilot and injuring a National Cadet Corps (NCC) cadet.

A Pipistrel Virus SW 80 trainer aircraft crashed soon after taking off from the Patiala Aviation Club airport, killing Wing Commander G S Cheema, an official spokesperson said.

Wing Commander Cheema was on deputation at an NCC unit here, he said.

In the crash of the two-seater aircraft, an NCC cadet too was injured, he said.

The injured NCC cadet was identified as Vipin Kumar Yadav of Mahindra College, Patiala, the official said.

An inquiry has been ordered by the IAF to ascertain the cause of the accident, the spokesperson said.

Comments by ASMSI

A very sad occurrence. Our heartfelt condolence. Hope the cause of accident is established and remedial measures are taken to prevent such occurrences.


Navy’s MiG-29K Aircraft Crashes Off Goa during Training, Pilot Safe

New Delhi/ Goa: An Indian Navy aircraft – MiG-29K – on a routine training sortie crashed near Goa on Feb 23, 2020 morning. The pilot of the aircraft managed to eject safely.

A probe has been ordered into the incident, according to an official statement.

“Today morning at around 1030h a Mig 29k aircraft on a routine training sortie crashed off Goa. The pilot of the aircraft ejected safely and has been recovered. An enquiry to investigate the incident has been ordered (sic),” Indian Navy tweeted. The aircraft took off from the INS Hansa base at Vasco in Goa.

Comments by ASMSI

This is the second accident of MIG 29 K ex Goa. Couple of MIG 29 belonging to Indian Air Force also have been lost due to accidents. Probing the cause of accidents in depth is of paramount importance.


DGCA Begins Audit of AI’s Airbus 319s

New Delhi: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has initiated an audit of all 20 Airbus 319 aircraft in Air India’s fleet after the regulator found that one of the planes had a broken panel that blocked the access to the emergency exit.

The regulator had acted on the basis of a complaint from a passenger on a flight operating between Aizawl and Kolkata sector and the DGCA had asked the national carrier to ensure that the problem is fixed.

“As immediate corrective action, an engineering order to inspect and rectify the defect… has been issued for compliance,” said an email from the national carrier. …as a preventive action, all Airbus 319 aircraft will be inspected to ensure the secured and correct installation of the panel during major checks,” the email read.

Comments by ASMSI

Broken Panel which blocked the access to Emergency Exit is serious lapse and unacceptable. It speaks poorly about the maintenance standards of the Airline. Air Bus A- 319 operated by Air India are more than 20 years old and quite heavy on maintenance. The decision of DGCA to undertake audit of A-319 is timely and will prove to be of value in enhancing maintenance standards and safety. The lapses on the part of concerned Maintenance personnel should be investigated and concerned individuals should be brought to book.


Spicejet aircraft makes emergency landing at Kolkata airport

KOLKATA: A Spicejet aircraft with 183 passengers on board made an emergency landing at the Kolkata airport on Wednesday morning after the pilot suspected a leakage in the fuel tank, airport sources said.

The aircraft was on its way to Guwahati from Mumbai.

“At around 8:45 am on Feb 26 2020, Wednesday, the flight’s pilot informed the air traffic control (ATC) in Kolkata of a suspected fuel leakage and that the flight needs to make an emergency landing. The flight landed around 8:58 am,” said Kaushik Bhattacharya, the director of NSCBI airport.

“We have informed the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). All passengers have been deboarded. The flight is undergoing necessary maintenance. It is yet to take off,” Bhattacharya said around 11:30 am.

Experts found after a detailed inspection of the aircraft that the leakage was not in the fuel but in the water tank, the sources said.

Suspecting a leakage in the fuel tank, the pilot contacted the Kolkata Air Traffic Control at 8:45 am and sought permission for an emergency landing.

Permission was granted and the aircraft landed safely, the sources said.

Comments by ASMSI

The Pilots must be complimented for taking right decision. Any leak whether from Fuel Tank or Water Tank should not be ignored. Next time if some Pilots notice leakage, they should not think that it is from water tank and not fuel tank, going by this precedence.

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