Pilot admitted getting approval to fly in India having just 35 minutes experience in co-pilot seat.
The focus on aviation safety has been shifting from aircraft reliability to pilot reliability in the past few years following a series of disasters that were thought to be either conscious acts of destruction, or the result of short training. The latest case reminds ofGerman wings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz believed to have locked his captain out of the cockpit and flown his jet into a mountain.
In India, the number of cases document the increasing number of pilots attains certificates showing overestimated flying hours and ground training according to the court documents and personal interviews with pilots. In an interview Anupam Verma states, “He has logged360 hours of flight according to his certificate but he got it after sitting in the co-pilot’s seat for just 35 minutes.”
Verma received 2.8 million-rupee grant by the Indian government in order to get trained for flying commercial jet. “What if during my flight an emergency occurredd? I wouldn’t even know how or where to land. We’d kill not only the passengers, but we might crash in a resident area and may even kill more peoples,” he said in an interview.
The cloud of concern about the quality of India’s trained pilots has been rising over the decades as the expansion of several economic airlines created vacancies for hundreds of new pilots. The authorities are 4 years behind to publish the review report of the license and certificate verification. In 2011, 18 pilots were suspected of using forged documents.The Civil Aviation Director M. Sathiyavathy ensures such incidents will be in control once their department review and re-certify all the flying schools.
Photo Courtesy: Bill Abbott