The Directorate General of Civil Aviation on Tuesday suspended a Vistara airlines pilot for issuing a Mayday distress call due to low-fuel near Lucknow airport on Monday, PTI reported. A senior Vistara official told the news agency that the pilot has been de-rostered.
“Flight UK944 operating Mumbai-Delhi on July 15, 2019, initiated a diversion to Lucknow due to bad weather over Delhi,” a Vistara spokesperson said. “However, over Lucknow, the visibility suddenly dropped and a safe landing was not possible. The crew then considered alternative airfields, including Kanpur and Prayagraj, to land in comparatively better weather condition.”
He said the Air Traffic Control in Lucknow then informed the crew that the weather in Lucknow had improved, after which the crew decided to return to the city. “The unexpected drop in visibility at the destination alternate was the main reason why the aircraft ended up in a low-fuel situation despite carrying excess fuel over and above the required Flight Plan Fuel as per regulations,” he said. “Safety of passengers and crew was kept at the highest priority throughout the flight.”
The Directorate General of Civil Aviation also suspended an Air India pilot and two from SpiceJet, ANI reported. A member of Air India’s cabin crew was also suspended.
The flying licences of two SpiceJet pilots, Aarati Gunasekaran and Saurabh Gulia, were suspended for six months, after an aircraft operated by them damaged runway edge lights during landing at Kolkata airport on July 2, PTI reported.
The Air India pilot was suspended for violating aviation safety norms.