India: Probe against pilots for using expletives during mid-air conversation

The disgruntled pilots were expressing unhappiness over pay packet


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File photo used for illustrative purpose
File photo used for illustrative purpose

Published: Thu 28 Apr 2022, 9:14 PM

Disgruntled over delays in restoring their pre-Covid salaries, around seven IndiGo Airlines pilots used expletives against senior management on the radio while operating aircraft.

After being alerted about the incident by Air Traffic Control (ATC), the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) ordered an investigation into the matter.

A senior DGCA official said that the incident happened on April 9 when a group of Indigo pilots were expressing their unhappiness over the delay in restoration of the pre-Covid salaries on 121.5 MHz frequency that is generally reserved for civilian distress or emergency use.

“Air Traffic Control (ATC) learnt about the incident and informed DGCA regarding the violation. DGCA is taking senior note of the indiscipline act as it is a violation of a fundamental part of pilots’ training. We have ordered an inquiry into the matter. If proven guilty, the pilots may lose their license,” said the official.

Notably, the 121.5 MHz frequency is used in case of distress to contact any air traffic control facility within range. Any communication over the frequency is minutely watched and it is kept on record. It is expected of pilots to maintain the sanctity of the emergency services.

Aviation regulators across the world are very serious about the violation or misuse of the 121.5 frequency and any such matter is dealt with a heavy fine.

A spokesperson of Indigo airlines said that the incident happened and it is under investigation by the regulator.

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