Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Kingfisher pilot breaks rules, flies woman in cockpit

Kingfisher pilot breaks rules, flies woman in cockpit
A senior pilot of Kingfisher Airline faces probe after cabin crew lodged a complaint against him for flying a woman in cockpit during a Delhi-Mumbai flight on August 19.
NEW DELHI: The head of Kingfisher Airline's pilot training flew a woman in the cockpit on a Delhi-Mumbai flight and when the cabin crew protested, told them to stay away during the journey. The crew of the flight IT 304 of August 19 have now lodged a complaint with the management, saying the pilot flouted DGCA rules by flying an unauthorized person in the cockpit.

"We will investigate the matter," Kingfisher spokesman Prakash Mirpuri said. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation too has ordered a probe and warned of strict action if the pilot is found guilty.

This incident comes at a time when the DGCA is conducting a safety audit of Kingfisher and Air India Express — airlines identified as being in severe financial distress by a DGCA audit last December.

The Kingfisher cabin crew did not press the case against the pilot on August 19 itself as the commander is one of the seniormost pilots of the airline.

In fact, the pilot, GM(training), was among the handful who also fly promoter Vijay Mallya's personal Airbus corporate jet.

Employees have always steered clear of this select group, but with salaries pending since March, the fear is diminishing. As soon as the flight landed in Mumbai, the cabin crew lodged a complaint.

Sources point out that the Kingfisher commander broke many rules while taking the woman into the cockpit, no matter that a co-pilot was present.

"Taking a flyer in the cockpit is itself not allowed. But in this case, asking the cabin crew not to come to the cockpit during the flight is another serious breach," said a source.

"DGCA rules stipulate that when one of the pilots leaves the cockpit for any reason, a crew member must remain there till the former returns. The reason is that since 9/11, the cockpit doors are locked and if for some reason the only pilot in the cockpit gets incapacitated, there must be someone else to open the door for the other pilot."


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