Thursday, February 02, 2012

Chief engineer's marriage stops flying at Nagpur Flying Club

NAGPUR: The trainees at the Nagpur Flying Club (NFC) will have a forced break of a fortnight as its only chief engineer has gone on leave for his own wedding. The club had just restarted on Republic Day after a gap of nine months as it did not have a chief flying instructor. Now, the four Cessna aircraft will be grounded again.

A source at the airport informed that chief engineer Neeraj has gone on a leave and, as per Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) norms, the training aircraft cannot take off unless certified by the CE. "The aircraft needs to be checked, repaired and maintained by a DGCA-approved CE only," the source said.

In Neeraj's absence, the 40-odd trainee pilots will find it difficult to complete the mandatory 200 flying hours to obtain a commercial license. Students registered here hail from Gadchiroli, Chandrapur, Bhandara, Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur.

A trainee pilot, requesting anonymity, said, "The next two weeks will be a sheer waste of time. The divisional commissioner's office which manages the NFC should have deputed another CE so that flying goes on."

Another student said that the British-era club lacks many important facilities like simulators which are necessary for training pilots. "Moreover, there is no library, so we've to depend on the Internet and other libraries which are situated far away from the NFC," he said.

The four Cessna's came out of the hangar on January 27 morning after the state government recruited Captain AS Salam as CFI and a few other staffers to run the show.

Arun Dongre, managing director of NFC, said that teaching will not stop despite the CE's absence. "There will be no flying only for 7 days only as Neeraj will resume duty on February 10. Until then the students will be given training in other areas and theory classes will be conducted too," he said.

Dongre said as of now the NFC has no plans to shift its flying operations to Amravati. "Adequate slots and timings are available at the city airport especially in afternoon now," he said.


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