PILOT FALLS ASLEEP AS JET AIRWAYS FLIGHT PLUNGES 5000 FEET:
At a time when the aviation industry is reeling under a slew of mishaps, emergency landings and technical snags, a Brussels-bound Jet Airways plane plunged 5000 feet in the Ankara airspace over Turkey, causing panic among passengers on board. The reason of the sudden drop – the pilot was asleep and the co-pilot was reading flight manuals on a tablet device.
According to reports, the pilot was supposedly taking ‘controlled rest’ and the co-pilot was supposed to hold fort in the cockpit. However, the co-pilot claimed that she was reading flight manuals on her tablet (probably the most ridiculous clarification ever recorded). It was only when the Ankara ATC called asking why 9W-228 had moved away from its assigned flight level of 34,000 feet, the co-pilot and the pilot paid heed and brought the situation under control.
“This is a matter of serious concern and the pilots involved in the incident have been grounded from Wednesday. We will form a team to inquire into the matter and also the training facilities of the airline,” said a senior official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The Director General came to know about the incident when its joint DG Lalit Gupta got an SMS about the uncontrolled descent.
Both the commander and the co-pilot were summoned by DGCA. Both of them have been grounded pending investigation