Friday, January 27, 2012

Two Air India Express pilots taken off duty for aborting take off at Singapore

New Delhi: Aviation watchdog Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday said it is looking into an incident of aborted take-off involving an Air India Express flight from Singapore to Trichy carrying around 90 passengers.

Meanwhile, Air India Express officials said that both the pilots have been grounded and de-rostered until an investigation into the matter is concluded. Singapore ATC is also said to be conducting its own investigation.

The incident took place on Monday, when the pilots of Air India's low-cost international subsidiary went in for take-off procedures without receiving prior clearance from Singapore Air Traffic Control (ATC) at Changi airport.

The pilot was hauled up by the ATC, following which he aborted the take-off at very high speed, thus risking the lives of the passengers.

"We have started an investigation into the incident and we have to see in what circumstances the pilots aborted the take-off," senior DGCA official said.

According to the official, the aviation regulator is examining technical data to ascertain what all safety aspects were flouted in the process of the abortive take-off.

Aviation experts said that aborting take-off is very risky, as the aircraft reaches critically high speeds, also known as V1 speed of around 270 km per hour, just before it takes off. Aborting a take-off can lead the pilot to either lose control of the aircraft or over shoot the runway.

"We are conducting the investigation into the matter, all technical data is being seen. Both the pilots have been questioned and we have also grounded them until the investigation is completed," an Air India Express official said.

DGCA in its latest financial audit report had rapped the airline for shoddy training and shortage of pilots, instructors, examiners and cabin crew.

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