Yes, you heard it right. DGCA, the aviation regulator of India suspends Captain Mukesh Neema, Head of Flight Safety of Air Asia and Captain Manish Uppal, Head of Operations, for three months over “Safety Violations”. These allegations were made by former pilot Gaurav Taneja, who’s popular vlogs on his YouTube channel Flying Beast earn millions of likes and love from his viewers.
Safety Violation allegations by Flying Beast
On 14 June, Flying Beast opened up by adding a tweet.
— Gaurav Taneja (@flyingbeast320) June 14, 2020
And the next day itself he came up with the video titled “Reason behind suspension from my pilot job” in which he revealed that Air Asia asked his pilots to do 98% of landings in “Flap 3” mode which saves fuel but can be risky for the passengers. If a pilot does not follow this, it is considered as violations of SOP (Standard operating procedure) by Air Asia, a low-cost Malaysian airline. He talked about the conditions in which a pilot has to do a “Flap-Full” landing. He stated that to achieve the targets, pilots need to do Flap 3 landings without taking the situations and passengers’ life into consideration, which can lead to an unfortunate accident. And eventually, the pilot will have to answer the question “If the life of 180 passengers were important or saving fuel?”
The second safety issue which was raised by him in the clip was about the sick leave of the pilot. As per the policy of Air Asia, if a pilot avails an ill leave, he has to let go of his weekly holiday. This policy discouraged them from taking sick leave when they are unfit to fly, which is, in a way endangering the lives of passengers of airlines.
AirAsia came under Scanner
Two weeks after the pilot’s allegations on violation of safety norms for low-cost carriers by the airlines, DGCA issued a show-cause notice to AirAsia India’s head of flight operation. Though, officials of AirAsia confronted the situation by saying the cause of suspension of Captain Taneja was not associated with bringing out the safety lapses in light but due to his discipline issues. However, on 26 June, Captain Taneja was terminated by the airlines for as he mentioned the practices carried in AirAsia India which was detrimental for the safety of passengers on board.
Do watch what ex DGCA Senior Inspector says on this issue by clicking the link below.
Suspension of senior officials by DGCA
As confirmed by a senior DGCA official, two top executives of AirAsia have been suspended on being alleged for violation of safety norms and risking lives for money-making. According to sources, Captain Manish Uppal, Head of Operations, and Captain Mukesh Neema, Head of Flight Safety of Air Asia have been suspended for three months by Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). For more updates, feel free to refer to Gaurav’s Twitter and Instagram handle.
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