Tuesday, July 26, 2016

34 pilots flew on a 'tight' schdule

Mumbai: Forget drunk driving, the city has beaten the record of drunk flying, with as many as 34 commercial pilots from Mumbai testing positive for alcohol in breath-analyser tests done in the last three years. Their infraction forced the aviation regulator, DGCA, to initiate strict action against them.

The data available between 2013 and 2016 (until July), puts Mumbai at the top of the list of cities where pilots failed preflight medical tests conducted to check for alcohol presence in their blood. The city drubbed the national capital, which recorded 31 pilots who failed the test over the same period.

The civil aviation ministry's records reveal that of the total of 124 pilots across the country who failed the pre-flight examinations — once each — in the last three years, 12 were found to be repeat offenders.

In keeping with the rule book, until June 6, 2014, the pilots who were firsttime violators were suspended for three months, while those fluting the norms for a second time were suspended for five years.

Then, the aviation ministry modified the provisions to reduce the duration of suspension for a second violation from five years to three years, keeping it unchanged for the first violation. Underscoring safety issues emanating from drinking, former director general of civil aviation Kanu Gohain said the ideal measure of alcohol content in blood is zilch for pilots.
26/07/16 Aditya Anand/Mumbai Mirror
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