Photo: Mint
Photo: Mint

DGCA suspends licenses of two SpiceJet pilots

  • Pilots were involved in air turn back incident due to pressurization failure during their flight between Hyderabad and Jaipur on 14 June
  • The pilots -- captain Sunil Mehta and captain Vikram Singh -- were earlier on 23 September issued show cause notice by the regulator

NEW DELHI : The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Monday said that it has suspended the licenses of two SpiceJet pilots, who were involved in air turn back incident due to pressurization failure during their flight between Hyderabad and Jaipur on 14 June.

The pilots -- captain Sunil Mehta and captain Vikram Singh -- were earlier on 23 September issued show cause notice by the regulator, which sought replies from them within the next 15 days, as to why action shouldn't be taken against them.

Subsequently DGCA has suspended the pilots' licenses for four months from the date of incident.

"Whereas the reply to the show cause notice received has been examined and observed (that) the crew forgot to put the Bleed switch to on position during cockpit preparation and departure briefing and after takeoff checklist which resulted in pressurization failure during climb ," DGCA said in the statement.

A bleed switch is essentially a button on the cockpit panel that diverts air from an aircraft's engines into its cabin, which ensures enough cabin pressure for passengers. Without enough cabin pressure, passengers and crew are unable to breathe, especially at the height modern aircraft fly.

"The above action of the crew jeopardized the safety of aircraft and its occupants," it added.

Meanwhile, a New Delhi-bound IndiGo flight, which was carrying environment minister Nilesh Cabral, had to make a turn around and land back at Goa's Dabolim airport on Sunday night

Cabral told agencies that one of the plane's engines caught fire fifteen minutes after the plane was airborne at around 1 am.

IndiGo, however, refuted the minister stating that the occurrence of any fire in the engine of flight 6E336 from Goa to Delhi operating on Sept 29, 2019.

"During the shutdown process of the engine, it is not unusual that unburnt fuel ignites some sparks seen at the exhaust of the engine, which was noticed by the passengers. At no point of time there was any danger of fire in the engine," an IndiGo spokesperson said.

"However, the cause of the incident is not known yet and is currently under investigation," the spokesperson added.

Commenting on the issue, a senior DGCA official said that the agency is looking into the issue.

"We investigate each of these cases and take appropriate action," the DGCA official said, requesting anonymity.

The official added that when such glitches happen, sometime engines are removed, after thorough check, or spares causing distress are changed.

"If the need be the aircraft is grounded," the official added.

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