A 37-year-old Air India pilot died on duty at the Delhi airport’s Terminal 3 on Thursday.
This is the second on-duty death involving an Indian pilot in three months and raises concerns about crew fatigue.
An airline official, however, said the Thursday incident was not fatigue-related. The Air India pilot was under training, and there was no report of any underlying medical condition in his previous health assessments.
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According to an official, the Air India pilot was transitioning from the Airbus A320 to the Boeing 777 fleet. “He was at the airport on Thursday morning as a part of his training, which included an aircraft visit. He felt uneasy and was taken to Medanta Hospital’s facility within the airport but didn’t survive,” the official said.
In August an IndiGo pilot collapsed to death at Nagpur Airport minutes before operating a flight. Globally, August had seen three other incidents of pilots suffering cardiac arrests or death. Also in August, an Indian origin pilot travelling as passenger died on Qatar Airways flight from Delhi to Doha.
“Another young Indian pilot passes away today due to a suspected cardiac event on ground. If this doesn’t convince DGCA, civil aviation ministry and airlines of the urgent need to reduce stress, fatigue and anxiety amongst pilots nothing else will,” Shakti Lumba, former VP of operations at IndiGo said on X (formerly Twitter).