Aviation

Cockpit fight pilots grounded

DELHI: Unbelievable. As ever, reality has a way of stunning. Jet Airways has grounded two of its senior commanders for fighting inside the cockpit of a London-Mumbai flight on January 1.

The commander flying as co-pilot allegedly slapped the lady commander mid-flight after which she left the cockpit in tears, reports The Times of India.

After great persuasion, the lady pilot went back to the cockpit but reportedly came out in a huff shortly afterwards. This time, a frightened cabin crew, fearing for everyone’s safety, requested her to go back to the controls and operate the flight to its destination. Luckily, the plane landed safely.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended the licence of the male co-pilot and ordered a probe into the entire episode.

This unprecedented cockpit fight happened on 9W 119 soon after Jet’s Boeing 777 took off for its 9-hour journey to Mumbai with 324 passengers and 14 crew members on board on New Year’s Day at 10am (UK time).

Both the pilots of this flight were commanders and the lady was captaining 9W 119 while the other was the co-pilot for this sector.

Besides physically assaulting the woman commander, the pilot also left the cockpit unattended twice, which is in violation of the safety norms leading to the suspension of his licence, according to a senior official of the DGCA, reports News 18.

When contacted, a Jet Airways spokesperson said there was a “misunderstanding” between the cockpit crew and the same was “resolved amicably” and “quickly”.

“A misunderstanding occurred between the cockpit crew of 9W119 London-Mumbai flight on January 1. However, the same was quickly resolved amicably and the flight with 324 guests including two infants and 14 crew members completed its journey in Mumbai safely,” the airline spokesperson said.

However, the source alleged that the male pilot who has been working with the airline for over a decade had some “argument” with the female commander over some issues. The source said these two senior pilots have been flying together for many years and have had arguments in the past as well. But on Monday, arguments turned violent and the male pilot slapped the woman commander after which she came out of the cabin crying, the source alleged.

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