Pilot found drunk, flight to Dubai delayed

Pilot found drunk, flight to Dubai delayed

As many as 180 passengers bound for Dubai on a SpiceJet flight had to spend five hours at the Mangaluru International Airport on Tuesday midnight, after the medical officers did not allow the Turkish pilot to fly, as he was found heavily intoxicated.

The flight was to leave at 12.40 am on Wednesday and all the 180 passengers of the flight had completed check-in formalities, when the medical officers found that the pilot was intoxicated during the medical examination.

The passengers were officially informed that the departure was delayed on account of a technical snag, and the flight finally took off at 6 am after SpiceJet managed to arrange a substitute pilot.

When contacted, SpiceJet official Anand Deora said that Corendon Airlines first officer Sebahat Ulku Erk had failed to meet the stringent SpiceJet safety standards and tested positive during the pre-flight medical check-up for alcohol and was not permitted to operate the flight. "He has been suspended and sent back to his country," he said.

Though passengers were inconvenienced because of the pilot's carelessness, many heaved a sigh of relief after they learnt about the exact reason for the delay, said an airport staff. SpiceJet has been operating flights between Mangaluru and Dubai for the past year. The aircraft is leased from Corendon Airlines in Turkey through an agreement and almost all staff manning the aircraft are from Turkey.

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