Shaken by the tragic death of the Air India superintendent service engineer, who got sucked into an aircraft engine a week ago, the Indian Commercial Pilot Association (ICPA) has appealed to its members to support his family by contributing Rs 5,000 each. The association has written to around 800 pilots, hoping to raise funds and hand them over to the family in the first week of the new year.
The incident took place on December 16, when Ravi Subramanian got sucked into an Airbus 319’s engine, which was switched on during pushback. Subramanian is survived by his 84-year-old father and 77-year-old mother, and his wife and college-going son. The day after the incident, Air India announced it had given the family an ex-gratia amount of R5 lakh, as well as a job to one of the family members.
ICPA general secretary, T Praveen Keerthi also wrote to the pilots on December 22 seeking a contribution from each of them. “All the pilots associated with ICPA will be contributing Rs 5,000 each from their coming salary. We will collect the amount and give it to the family in the first week of the new year,” he told mid-day.
Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has taken the aircraft’s black box to Delhi to be decoded. “The Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) is investigating the matter. Detailed statements have been recorded by the AAIB and the investigation is in process,” said a DGCA official.
More delays in AI
Taking a lesson from the accident, the national carrier is now putting greater emphasis on safe working conditions for staff. Aircraft reported with faults are being dealt with one by one, to avoid over-stressing the staffers. However, as a result, flights are being delayed further. “The workload of making an aircraft ready for departure, which is the airline’s aircraft maintenance engineers’ responsibility, is being done by the book — only one departure is being handled at a time. The delayed departures in the past few days have left thousands of passengers stranded across airports in the country,” said an airline official.