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SpiceJet Durgapur incident: DGCA suspends pilot's licence for six months

The suspension of Spicejet pilot's licence is connected to the occurrence on May 1 when an aircraft from Mumbai to Durgapur had an extremely rough landing injuring passengers and crew.

SpiceJet Durgapur incident: DGCA suspends pilot's licence for six months

The pilot-in-command (PIC) of a SpiceJet flight had his pilot's licence suspended by the Aviation authority Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for six months after he disregarded the co-pilot's advice while flying a Boeing B737 aircraft. The development is connected to the occurrence on May 1 when an aircraft from Mumbai to Durgapur had extremely rough weather when it touched down. Three staff members and approximately 14 passengers had been hurt as a result of the violent turbulence.

A DGCA official said that the co-pilot had asked the captain to avoid flying the Boeing 737 plane through the clouds ahead and to skirt them. However, the pilot-in-command decided to pass through, believing that they could make it through a green patch between the clouds, and the aircraft encountered severe turbulence.

Taking immediate action following the incident, the DGCA ordered the airline to take the two pilots off the roster and subsequently issued a show cause notice, seeking an explanation about the incident in the flight carrying nearly 195 people. As per officials, the airline was asked to submit its response within a fortnight.

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It is to be noted that the Spicejet Durgapur incident, at the time, had sparked a series of surprise inspections by DGCA.  In order to check on issues of aircraft fitness and cabin safety, the Director-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), headed by Director General Arun Kumar, has undertaken surprise inspections at various significant airports around the nation.

The crew has been instructed by the DGCA DG to extensively inspect aircraft cabins, cockpits, and the passenger section to look for any potential safety hazards, such as loose fittings on seats, food trays, windows, and restrooms.

In another instance, the DGCA temporarily suspended the pilot of a charter plane's licence due to a bogus fuel emergency. The pilot of a charter flight from Bokaro to Ranchi on October 19, 2021, falsely announced a low fuel emergency to receive priority landing because he wanted to save hovering time. The investigation revealed that the jet had ample fuel.

With inputs from agencies

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