'Pilots fudging records will be punished'

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 18, 2013 20:20 hrs

Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh has said strict action would be taken against pilots fudging training records.

“The fudging of pilots’ training records is not a small thing. Strong action has to be taken to show safety would never be compromised,” he said. Government sources, however, ruled out the possibility of Indian airlines being downgraded by the US Federal Aviation Administration due to such violations.

Last year, a probe by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) had found airline examiners (senior pilots) had logged more simulator training hours in their records than was actually the case.

Taking note of the safety violation, DGCA had ordered an inquiry. Two Jet Airways pilots were de-rostered for a month, while an Air India pilot was suspended. Some safety experts, however, said such steps weren’t enough. They have urged DGCA to cancel the licences of pilots involved in such cases.

“We issued show-cause notices to the airlines after the incident came to light. An inquiry was carried out. We have punished the pilots,” said a senior DGCA officer. FAA hadn’t sought any information in that case, he added.

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