Jet cockpit fight grounds 2 pilots
Mumbai: Two Jet Airways pilots who fought inside the cockpit on a London-Mumbai flight on January 1 have been grounded by the airline.
The incident occurred on board flight 9W 119, which had 324 passengers.
The senior male commander, who has been working with Jet for more than 10 years, allegedly slapped his female co-pilot following an argument. It could not be confirmed if the two pilots were related.
The female commander is said to have come out of the cabin sobbing. Senior members of the cabin crew persuaded her to return to the cockpit and complete the flight.
Unconfirmed reports claimed the male commander left the cockpit, which is a violation of flight-safety norms, and persuaded her to return.
A Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) official told PTI that besides physically assaulting the woman commander, the pilot also left the cockpit unattended twice, leading to the suspension of his licence pending an inquiry.
There were conflicting reports of when the fight occurred. While PTI reported that it took place over the Iran-Pakistan airspace, others said it happened before the flight was scheduled to take-off.
Commenting on the incident, a Jet Airways spokesperson said in a statement that a "misunderstanding" occurred between the cockpit crew.
"A misunderstanding occurred between the cockpit crew of 9W 119 London-Mumbai flight on January 1. However, the same was quickly resolved amicably and the flight with 324 guests, including two infants and 14 crew members, completed its journey in Mumbai safely," the spokesperson said.
"The airline has reported the matter to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the concerned crew have been taken off flying duties pending investigation that has since been initiated," the statement said.
"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 compromise safety," the statement added.