Tuesday, December 29, 2015

DGCA: Ensure 2 conscious persons in cockpit always

It may soon be mandatory for Indian carriers to have two fully 'conscious' persons in cockpits at all times. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has recommended that a cabin crew member should be present inside the cockpit when one of the pilots is under "controlled rest" -- sleeping as per rules on long flights -- to make the place "more alert". And also "reduce inadvertent action to certain extent."
At present it is mandatory that a cabin crew member be inside the cockpit when one of the two pilots go outside for any reason like relieving themselves, so that there are two people there at all times. The reason: To avoid a situation where the sole person inside loses consciousness and is unable to open the locked door to let the other pilot in.
The DGCA's latest safety recommendation has been made in its probe report of an incident of August 8, 2014, when a Jet Airways aircraft winging its way from Mumbai to Brussels suddenly lost altitude over Turkish airspace. This happened when the commander was sleeping and the Turkish air traffic control had to alert the cockpit that it was veering into flight level of other planes by deviating from its assigned level. TOI had front paged this story on August 14, 2014, under the heading "Pilot asleep, co-pilot on tab, Jet flight drops 5,000 feet".
29/12/15 Saurabh Sinha/The Times Of India
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