Suspended pilot’s YouTube video puts AirAsia India under DGCA scanner

By: |
June 29, 2020 4:50 PM

DGCA issued show-cause notice to AirAsia India’s head of flight operation after a pilot, in his video, alleged low-cost air carrier AirAsia of compromising safety in order to save fuel.

Captain Gaurav Taneja, who runs the popular YouTube channel Flying Beast, on June 14 on his twitter handle said that he has been suspended by AirAsia India “for standing up for safe operations of an aircraft and its passengers”.Captain Gaurav Taneja, who runs the popular YouTube channel Flying Beast, on June 14 on his twitter handle said that he has been suspended by AirAsia India “for standing up for safe operations of an aircraft and its passengers”. (Photo: Financial Express)

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued a show-cause notice to AirAsia India’s head of flight operation two weeks after one of its pilot alleged violations of safety norms by the low-cost carrier. Captain Gaurav Taneja, who runs the popular YouTube channel Flying Beast, on June 14 on his twitter handle said that he has been suspended by AirAsia India “for standing up for safe operations of an aircraft and its passengers”.

A PTI report on Sunday quoted DGCA officials saying: “A show cause notice has been issued to Manish Uppal, head of operations, AirAsia India, after the pilot’s allegations.”

AirAsia also confirmed receiving the DGCA notice. “We are assisting the regulator in its fact-finding process. We will fully cooperate with the regulator,” said the spokesperson of the airline, as reported by PTI.

Taneja on June 15 had posted a detailed video on YouTube titled “Reasons behind suspension from my pilot job”. After which DGCA on Twitter said it had taken note of concerns raised by some stakeholders “against a particular airline and its approach to safety”. The aviation regulator also said it has already begun a probe into the matter and will take appropriate action after the investigation.

Taneja in his video alleged that the airline has asked its pilots to opt for 98% of landings in the “Flap 3” mode. The mode allows aircraft to save fuel. According to Taneja, the airline considers it a violation of its standard operating procedure if a pilot does not do 98% of landings in the “Flap 3” mode.

During landing and take-offs, flaps are used to create a drag. Flaps are part of the wings of an aircraft. In airports where an aircraft descends more steeply for landing, it requires drags so that it remains slow, and the pilot does a “Flap full” landing.

“In order to achieve targets” set by the airline, “what would people do? They will do Flap 3 landings without giving consideration whether it is safe or unsafe,” Tajena said in his video, adding ”this directly impacts the passenger safety.”

On June 15 after Taneja’s video, DGCA officials had confirmed that AirAsia India was under investigation.

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