Crash report puts foreign pilots under scanner

The Court of Inquiry (CoI) into the Mangalore air crash has recommended that Air India Express need to carry out a detailed check into the background of foreign pilots prior to issuance of Foreign Aircrew Temporary Authorisation (FATA) by the Director General of Civil Aviation.

The report of the CoI, headed by former vice chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal B N Gokhale held that emphasis should be laid about foreign pilots especially on flight safety issues for the entire flying career as well as anomalies during training from all the previous employees.

The CoI, which probed the tragedy that claimed 158 lives, blamed Captain Z Glusica for the accident by failing to discontinue an “unstabilised approach” and his persistence in continuing with the landing despite the three calls from the first officer to go around.
Glusica was a Serbian national and was employed by Air India Express, the low cost carrier of Air India.

“Glusica was in prolonged sleep during the flight which could have been due to sleep inertia.

“As a result of relatively short period of time between his awakening and the approach, it possibly led to impaired judgment”, the report said.

The first officer of the ill-fated aircraft was H S Ahluwalia, an Indian, and both the pilots died in the accident.

The panel recommended that there was also need to examine the medical history of foreign pilots in its entirety before recruiting and favoured pre-employment medical examination for all foreign pilots similar to Indian pilots.

Air India Express could reconsider terms and conditions of employment of foreign pilots, the report suggested.

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