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Jet Airways Pilots Fired For Leaving Cockpit Unattended During Flight

From The Independent


By Lydia Smith

Jet Airways has fired two pilots who allegedly got into a fight and stormed out of the cockpit during a flight, leaving the controls unattended.

The Indian airline said in a statement it had “terminated services of both the cockpit crew with immediate effect”.

The staff involved, a man and a woman, were taken off flight duties following an investigation.

The incident occurred on a New Year’s Day flight from London to Mumbai, during which the male co-pilot reportedly slapped the female pilot after they got into heated argument.

The female pilot is believed to have left the cockpit in tears, followed briefly by the co-pilot.

As a result the cockpit was left unattended on the flight which had 324 passengers and 14 crew on board.

Aviation safety rules state at least one pilot should remain at the controls at all times during a flight.

The incident is alleged to have happened shortly after the Boeing 777 took off, at around 10am UK time.

The plane later landed safely and no one was injured.

The Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) told the Press Trust of India news agency that the pilot had also left the cockpit unattended twice during the incident, breaking safety regulations.

“Shortly after the plane took off, the two pilots had a fight,“ a source told The Times of India.

“The co-pilot slapped the lady commander and she left the cockpit in tears. She stood in the galley sobbing.

“The cabin crew tried to comfort her and send her back to the cockpit, but in vain. The co-pilot also kept buzzing [on the intercom to] the crew, asking them to send the second pilot back.”

The source added: “However, they had a fight for the second time following which she came out again.

“This time, the cabin crew was quite afraid of the fight happening in the cockpit. They requested her to go to the cockpit and fly the plane safely to its destination.”

A spokesman for the airline told the newspaper that an investigation had been launched after the incident.

“At Jet Airways, safety of guests, crew and assets is of paramount importance and the airline has zero tolerance for any action of its employees that compromises safety.”

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