Three agencies to probe AI hijack alert

Last Updated: Sat, Oct 27, 2012 18:01 hrs

Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 23 (IBNS) Three agencies will probe the hijack alert sounded by an Air India pilot at the Thiruvananthapuram airport last week.

The Kerala Police, the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security and aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will now investigate what made Captain Rupali Waghmare to sound a hijack SOS, reports said on Tuesday.

The Kerala Police will study the circumvention of law and order, the DGCA will look into the safety aspect of passengers and crew of the flight at that time, while the Bureau of Civil Aviation Security will check if there was enough protection for the pilot and crew.

There was scare and high drama at the Thiruvanthapuram airport when the pilot of an Air India Express Abu Dhabi-Kochi flight raised a hijack alarm after an angry passenger tried to barge inside the cockpit for delay in departure on Oct 19.

The flight 4422 was from Abu Dhabi to Kochi but it was diverted to Thiruvanthapuram owing to bad weather and there was a hijack scare when the pilot sent out the hijack message putting the airport authorities on alert.

The passenger concerned was reportedly angry over a delay of three hours, reports said.

The flight remained stranded in Thiruvanthapuram pending a clearance from New Delhi.

A passenger on the flight when contacted said they were angry and agitated but no one tried to barge into the cockpit.

The flight was to land at 3-30 am at Kochi.

In her complaint to the local police, Captain Waghmare said: "Some passengers barricaded the aircraft and cockpit and did not allow anyone to enter or leave for 5 hours. Myself and my co-captain were separately threatened to be killed."

She said the circumstances made her hit the emergency button.

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