Pilots want DG removed for jumping to conclusions on Air India Express crash

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on August 11, 2020

The Indian pilot community has called for the sacking of the Director General of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) in the interest of “flight safety”.

The pilot community is upset about some of the remarks that the DG made to television channels soon after an Air India Express aircraft crashed at Kozikode on August 7 killing 18 people.The DG is alleged to have said the “landing was not appropriate” in an interview with one television channel and that “landing was not smooth” to another channel.

In a communication to the Minister of Civil Aviation, Hardeep Puri, the Indian Commercial Pilots Association (ICPA) and the Indian Pilots Guild (IPG)allege that the DG’s remarks to some television channels is violative of Annex 13 of the Convention on International Civil Aviation, which is the binding document to be followed during an accident investigation. It states that the sole objective of the investigation of an accident is the prevention of accidents and incidents and the purpose is not to apportion blame or liability. ICPA represents the interest of the pilots of narrow-body aircraft who were earlier flying with Indian Airlines, while IPG represents the interest of pilots who flew with Air India. The two airlines have now been merged with Air India.

“The DGCA’s hasty comments on TV clearly appeared to be biased, unprofessional, premature and presumptive, without even considering the need to conclude any technical analysis of the Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR), Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and other verifiable sources,” the letter states.

The letter adds that air accidents never occur because of one single cause or factor. They are always the unfortunate by-product of systemic failures, such as poor infrastructure, inadequate regulatory oversight and, often, willful negligence.

Published on August 11, 2020

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