Sunday, November 05, 2017

Pilot exits before takeoff, triggers panic in plane

New Delhi: Imagine just when you expect your aircraft to begin push back for departure, the pilot announcing from the cockpit that he has to leave for some "pressing engagement". Sounds hard to believe but that is precisely what happened on GoAir's Delhi-Ranchi flight with 128 passengers on board at IGI's newly-reopened Terminal 2 on Saturday morning.
Five minutes before scheduled departure time of 8.40am, the pilot made this announcement from the cockpit and then quickly left the plane. This left the passengers angry and even worried fearing a security scare. There was all kind of speculation on board, till the airline arranged for another pilot for the flight — G8 245 — which finally took off at 9.10am, after a delay of half an hour.
Sources said the pilot originally scheduled to operate this flight is Cat-III compliant, or trained to land in low visibility. "A GoAir Delhi-Jammu-Leh flight was not cleared to take off on Saturday morning due to bad weather in Ladakh. At the last minute, that flight got clearance and the airline had to pull out the pilot from Ranchi flight. He was the only Cat-III compliant pilot around at that time and not pulling him out would have mesant not operating the Leh flight," said a source. A GoAir spokesman said: "There was no security scare. It was a roster issue. We apologise for the inconvenience caused to passengers and are examining the matter."
05/11/17 Saurabh Sinha/Times of India