SpiceJet sacks two pilots for fudging flying hours

PTI New Delhi | Updated on March 29, 2011 Published on March 19, 2011

After the sacking of four pilots of Air India, IndiGo and MDLR, two cockpit crew of SpiceJet have lost their jobs for fudging the flying hours to obtain commercial pilot licence.

SpiceJet terminated the services of Captain Anuj Kumar and First Officer Amit Mundra on Friday, after their names appeared in the investigations into the fake flying licence issue. Following investigations, the no-frills carrier has terminated the services of the two pilots with immediate effect, a SpiceJet spokesperson said.

“The pilots have been accused of misrepresenting their flying hours in order to obtain their licence from the regulator, Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA),” the spokesperson said, adding that the airline would always comply with all rules and regulations governing the aviation sector and was committed to provide safe and secure travel.

Fake licence issue

The fake pilot licence issue has assumed a worrying proportion after Ms Parminder Kaur Gulati — a commander with IndiGo — was found to have faked her marksheet to obtain Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL), which allows a pilot to become the commander of an aircraft.

Ms Gulati was arrested by police after the DGCA filed a complaint against her, but was later released on bail.

The DGCA found four pilots — two of IndiGo (including Ms Gulati) and one each of Air India and MDLR — guilty of faking their marksheet to get an ATPL.

Three-member committee

Later, Captain J. K. Verma of Air India was also suspended and arrested following investigations into a complaint filed by the DGCA for forging marksheet to get a licence. In the backdrop of Mr Verma's arrest, Air India had set up a three-member committee to scrutinise documents of qualifications of pilots.

IndiGo's Ms Meenakshi Sehgal and Mr Swaran Singh Talwar of MDLR have not yet been arrested.

Following this, the DGCA has launched a probe on 4,000 ATPL holders. Some more cases are learnt to have come to light and detailed investigations are going on.

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Published on March 19, 2011
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