DGCA, India’s aviation regulator has ordered a detailed investigation into an incident in which an Air India pilot allegedly allowed a female friend to enter and stay in the cockpit during a flight from Dubai to Delhi in February, violating safety norms.
According to media reports, The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said on Friday that it was conducting an inquiry into the matter and would examine the relevant facts. DGCA official said that the pilot had invited his female friend, who was travelling as a passenger on the same flight, to join him in the cockpit shortly after takeoff from Dubai on February 27. The woman remained there for the duration of the flight, which lasted about three hours, according to the official.
The official said that the pilot’s actions were not only a breach of security, but also a distraction that could have compromised the safety of the flight and its passengers. The official said that the pilot could face disciplinary action, including suspension or cancellation of his license, depending on the outcome of the investigation.
Meanwhile, the flight crew has been summoned to appear on Friday by DGCA for the first time since March 3, people aware of the matter told. According to the complaint, issues on AI 915 began even before boarding. The cabin crew waited for the pilots beyond their reporting time, then proceeded to the aircraft without meeting them.
The pilots boarded the flight along with the passengers. Then, according to the complaint, the captain asked the crew to inform him if there were vacant seats in business class as he had a friend who was travelling in economy class and he wanted her to be upgraded. The crew informed him that there weren’t.
According to the complainant, the captain asked her to get his woman friend to the cockpit and also told her to fetch some pillows from the bunk for her comfort. She sat on the first observer seat.
Air India is yet to comment on the incident.