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Two pilots grounded after ‘fight in cockpit’

January 5, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Two pilots have been grounded after reports of a fight breaking out in the cockpit during a long-haul, New Year’s Day flight from London carrying 324 passengers.

Indian carrier Jet Airways confirmed that a “misunderstanding” occurred between cockpit crew on the flight from London to Mumbai, the BBC reported.

Crew involved had been removed from flight duties pending an investigation.

The flight, presumably on the flight deck of one of the B777-300ERs that Jet Airways uses on the route, landed safely in Mumbai.

Indian media quoted witnesses saying the altercation began with a male pilot allegedly slapping a female pilot. The woman left the cockpit and returned some time later.

Jet Airways B777-300ER

The BBC said that the airline confirmed an incident had occurred, but did not give details. The airline said it had reported the matter to India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), saying it had “zero tolerance for any action of its employees that compromises safety”.

Punch-ups on the flight decks of Indian airlines have happened before, though not involving Jet Airways.

In April 2015 Air India “derostered” two pilots after the co-pilot allegedly assaulted the captain as the two were preparing for takeoff from the Indian tourist city of Jaipur to New Delhi.

The Times of India said the co-pilot “reportedly beat up the captain” but the airline insisted that the “heated exchanges” were only verbal.

In a more serious incident in January 2015, reports stated the captain of an Air India  B787 Dreamliner allegedly punched an engineer before locking himself in the cockpit.

The Times of India reported on that occasion that a Chennai/Delhi flight was delayed by more than two hours after the pilot and an aircraft engineer “had a difference of opinion which ended up in a fight inside the cockpit”. The pilot won and the engineer was taken to hospital.

Written by Peter Needham

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