Thursday, June 02, 2022

Vistara Fined For Letting Improperly Trained Pilot Land An Aircraft

India’s aviation regulator, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), has fined full-service carrier Vistara for violating safety regulations on one of its recent flights. It has emerged that a first officer was allowed to land the plane without receiving the required training in a simulator.

When an aircraft lands on the runway, passengers can be comforted by the fact that the pilot performing the landing has sufficient training and experience to do so. And while every pilot has to perform the landing for the first time, it is always after adequate training in a simulator. After all, it is one of the most challenging parts of the flight.

However, a recent landing of a Vistara aircraft was performed by the first officer without first getting the requisite simulator training. The DGCA has fined the airline ₹10 lakhs (approx. $12,800) for violating safety regulations. Commenting on the incident, an official stated,"This was a serious violation endangering lives of the passengers on board."

The exact details of the flight have not been made public, but we do know that the incident took place at Indore’s Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar Airport in the state of Madhya Pradesh. For its domestic operations, Vistara relies on mostly the Airbus A320 family of aircraft and a handful of Boeing 737s.

A quick scan of reveals that Indore receives four Vistara flights every day – 2 from Delhi and 1 each from Mumbai and Bengaluru. All flights are operated by an Airbus A320 airplane. Unless there was an unscheduled change of equipment, the aircraft involved in the landing is most likely to be an A320.

Both the captain and the first officer were found to be inadequately trained to handle the situation. Training is conducted for the first officer to land the aircraft in the simulator before they can do it in real life with passengers onboard. In the same way, captains are also trained before they can give landing instructions to the first officer.

02/06/22 Gaurav Joshi/Simple Flying

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