Over 200 people stranded as pilot refuses to fly

Sep 09, 2012, 13:05 IST | Bipin Kumar Singh

Passengers on an international Air India flight from Calicut to Jeddah were stranded, when the pilot refused to fly the aircraft. He explained that he didn't have a valid licence and hence won't risk the lives of over the people on board

The National carrier Air India has done it again. Over two hundred passengers on Air India flight AI 963 Calicut-Jeddah were stranded as the pilot who didn't have a his license renewed refused to fly.

Air India

Representational picture

Pilot in Command of AI 963, Captain N K Beri refused to undertake the flight saying his Instrument Rating/License Rating IR/LR is not valid to fly the aircraft sources at operations division at Calicut, revealed sources.

"The flight plan for AI 963 was also submitted and the same was cleared by the Air Defense Control (ADC).

The pilot refused to undertake the aircraft as his license was not valid and had not received any authorization from the airline to undertake the aircraft," sources revealed.

The request related to this flight informing about the IR/LR was not submitted to regulatory DGCA prior to the flight plan sources further revealed. "The flight was cancelled as there was no pilot available to operate," sources further revealed.

One similar incident was witnessed on August 31 when Air India pilot Captain Abjesh Prasad who didn't have a valid IR/LR like Beri refused undertake the same flight from Jeddah to Calicut.

The Air India permitted him to fly without even informing the DGCA. The matter is under investigation by the regulatory authority.

"It is a complete system failure and the airline must take the responsibility of such lapses.

If the pilot working for any airline refuses to undertake the flight citing IR/LR reasons then the airline should be held responsible because it's their duty to get the licence renewed before putting the pilot on roster to operate the flight," said a senior aviation ministry official citing anonymity. 

The flight was eventually cancelled and the airline will accomodate the passengers in a five-star hotel with the payment being incurred by the carrier, which is already into a mess because of multiple losses.

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