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Air India Pilot In Hot Water For Turning Cockpit Into "Personal Living Room"

  • Posted on April 21, 2023
  • News

Pilot in Trouble for Inviting Female Friend to Cockpit During Flight

An Air India pilot has come under fire after inviting a female friend into the cockpit during a flight from Dubai to Delhi. The incident, which took place on February 27, has been reported by a member of the cabin crew who claims that the captain wanted to create a welcoming atmosphere in the cockpit for his friend, going as far as asking the crew to serve her food from the business class menu. The complaint, which has been reviewed by HT, alleges that the woman spent over an hour in the cockpit, during which time the captain and first officer left their positions to chat with her.

Air India Flight (An Air India pilot has come under fire after inviting a female friend into the cockpit during a flight from Dubai to Delhi)

Flight crew summoned over Air India cockpit scandal

The complaint filed by the cabin crew member has raised serious concerns about the safety and security of passengers, as well as the captain's ability to perform his duties. The directorate general of civil aviation (DGCA) has launched an investigation into the incident, and the flight crew has been summoned to appear before the regulator for the first time since March 3.

An Air India pilot has come under fire after inviting a female friend into the cockpit during a flight from Dubai to Delhi.
Pilots in Cockpit During Flight

Pilot's Friend Gets VIP Treatment, Raises Safety Concerns

According to the complaint, the issues began even before the flight took off. The cabin crew had to wait for the pilots beyond their reporting time, and when they finally arrived, the captain allegedly asked the crew to inform him if there were any vacant seats in business class so that his friend could be upgraded. When the crew informed him that there weren't any available seats, he asked them to bring his friend to the cockpit and fetch some pillows from the bunk for her comfort.


Unprofessional Behavior: Air India Captain Treats Crew Member Like a Servant

The complaint states that the captain wanted the cockpit to feel "welcoming, warm, and comfortable," as if he was preparing his living room for a lady friend. He also asked the crew member to take his friend's drink and snack order and serve her in the cockpit. However, when the crew member refused to serve alcohol in the cockpit, the captain became upset and started treating her like a servant.


Cockpit intrusion: A woman served business-class food and snacks during the flight

According to the DGCA's Civil Aviation Regulation (CAR), only employees of the aircraft operator who have completed breath analyzer tests and have the permission of the pilot-in-command (PIC) can enter the cockpit. The complaint alleges that the woman was in the cockpit for over an hour and was served business-class food and snacks during the flight, interrupting the flow of service.


Sleeping Co-Pilot and Chatting Captain: Complaint Raises Safety Concerns

The complainant also claims that during the flight, she went to speak to the captain when she noticed that both pilots were not in their usual positions. She found the first officer sleeping reclined fully with a pillow while the pilot in charge was sitting across facing the passenger in the rear observer station to chat. The pilot in charge indicated that the first officer (co-pilot) was taking a controlled rest and sleep, according to the complaint.


Air India Pilot In Hot Water For Turning Cockpit Into "Personal Living Room" Flight crew summoned over Air India cockpit scandal
A220 Cockpit (@AIRBUS Photo Credit: JV. REYMONOON)

Sexist remarks and psychiatric evaluation demanded Air India captain after flight incident

The complainant also alleged that the captain made sexist remarks during the return flight and that his behavior required psychiatric evaluation as he posed a risk to passenger safety.


Air India launches probe into pilot's behavior after a complaint by a cabin crew member

Air India has confirmed that it has received the complaint and has constituted a committee to investigate the issues raised. An airline official also stated that the flight crew has been summoned by DGCA to appear on Friday.


Importance of Aviation Safety: Lessons to Learn from Cockpit Controversy

This incident has raised concerns about the safety of passengers and the conduct of pilots, which should always be professional and in line with aviation regulations. The cockpit is a restricted area, and any unauthorized person should not be allowed to enter, especially during a flight. The investigation launched by DGCA should be thorough and should set an example for the rest of the aviation industry, emphasizing the importance of safety and professionalism in aviation.

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