India: Pilot suspended after flying plane into severe turbulence, injuring passengers

He ignored a co-pilot's warning to skirt the clouds, flew straight into them

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Published: Sat 20 Aug 2022, 9:01 AM

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended the licence of pilots for violation of rules in two separate cases.

A senior DGCA official confirmed that the regulator has suspended the licence of the pilot-in-command (PIC) of the SpiceJet flight for six months after he ignored a co-pilot's warning to skirt the clouds and flew the plane into severe turbulence.

On May 1, the Boeing B737 aircraft operating flight SG-945 from Mumbai to Durgapur encountered severe turbulence during the descent which resulted in injuries to a few passengers.

There were a total of 195 persons on board the aircraft including two pilots and four cabin crew members. The aircraft took off from Mumbai at approximately 5.13pm. During the descent, the aircraft experienced severe turbulence and the vertical load factor varied from +2.64G and - 1.36G. During this period the autopilot got disengaged for two minutes and the crew manually flew the aircraft, the DGCA had said in its statement on May 2.

In another case, the DGCA suspended the licence of a pilot of a charter airplane in a false fuel emergency case for one month.

On October 19, 2021, the pilot of a charter plane from Bokaro to Ranchi had falsely declared low fuel emergency to get priority landing as he wanted to avoid hovering period. During the inquiry, it was found that the plane had enough fuel.


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