DGCA blames pilots for near-crash of Rahul's plane

DGCA blames pilots for near-crash of Rahul's plane

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has put the blame on the two pilots who flew the chartered plane of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, which nearly crashed at Hubballi in April this year.

In its 30-page report made public on Friday, the two-member committee set up by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to probe the April 26 incident said there was no prior snag in the Ligare Aviation-operated private Falcon 2000 jet, registered as VT-AVH.

The 10-seater plane carrying Rahul had suddenly tilted heavily on the left side and the altitude dipped steeply with violent shuddering of the aircraft body before landing at the Hubballi airport in north Karnataka. There were five passengers, including the Congress president, two pilots, one cabin crew and one engineer on the flight when the incident took place, ahead of the Karnataka Assembly elections.

The Congress had then alleged “intentional tampering” with aircraft and demanded a probe into the “suspicious and faulty performance” of the aircraft. “Crew initiated action only when the master cautions warning i.e after 15 seconds of autopilot disengage,” the report said. Such a warning appears in the form of a red light and audio warning in the cockpit for the pilot to take action and avoid in the split second any mishap.”

“The yaw damper failure occurred due to intermittent behavior of FCC 2, this caused the auto pilot to disengage and the aircraft went into excessive right bank with altitude loss,” it said adding “due to lack of institutional awareness, the crew actions to control of the aircraft manually were slightly delayed.” The report recommended that the cockpit crew should undergo corrective training and there should be regulatory audit of the organisation to be carried out to check the compliance of regulations.