Saturday, September 2, 2017

Air India Commander Grounded For Numerous Violations, Including Reckless Flying

Air India reportedly suspended an airline commander Thursday for a variety of alleged violations. The senior A-320 commander has come under fire for his misconduct, which includes recklessly driving the company's aircraft, according to Times of India.

The senior commander's actions have been overlooked until now. He reportedly announced to airline passengers that Air India has made several violations and that he wouldn't take flight until the airline confessed to its mistakes. The commander's actions were reported to Air India by a senior Boeing 747 pilot that rode as a passenger on the flight, according to the Times of India.

The grounded employee also operated an Air India flight without passengers that appeared on the company's flight safety department radar for reckless flying. During the flight from Delhi to Gaya, the commander allegedly flew at a speed that exceeded the maximum requirement for takeoff. He also allegedly sharply flew the flight nose up by 24 degrees, which exceeded the normal expectation of 12-13 degrees. The aircraft's tires were reportedly hot.

"The commander has been grounded," an AI spokesman said, according to Times of India. "He will be given a refresher as a co-pilot and then when back flying, will do so as a first officer."

A representative for Air India did not immediately return International Business Times' request for comment.

The qualifications to become a senior A-320 officer are steep. Those interested in the position would first need to acquire a Private Pilot License. Obtaining a PPL allows recipients to become the Pilot-in-Command for a private aircraft, according to Alpha Aviation Group. This training period for this certification includes three weeks of ground school, 40 hours of basic training and five hours of training in a simulator.

Successful students then move on to complete training for a Commercial Pilot License. Earning the CPL is essential to becoming an authorized commercial airline pilot. Trainees are required to finish 11 weeks of ground schooling on the theory of flight and 140 flight hours, among other training practices.

Instrument Rating (IR) and Type Rating (TR) are the final certifications that follow, according to AAG. An IR certification enables pilots to fly in adverse or severe weather conditions (i.e. thunderstorms), whereas the TR certificate allows for pilots to fly a particular aircraft (i.e. Airbus A320, like the grounded Air India commander).

Airlines have different requirements for senior A-320 officer candidates. Wizz Air, a Hungary-based airline, requires successful applicants to have completed a total flight time of 1,500 hours in an A320. Not only do potential employees need to have adequate certification and licensing, but they also need to be prepared to fly from any Wizz Air base.

Airline controversies have become a regular occurrence. However, it's rare when the controversy revolves around a flight commander. Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) saw the most recent incident of an airline pilot coming under fire. The pilot was caught napping on a flight to London in May. He placed the aircraft in the hands of a trainee.

(Dory Jackson - International Business Times)

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