Countless Violations Found in Audit of 30 FTOs, DGCA Says Action Is Being Taken

The safety audit comes after a spate of fatal aircraft accidents and crashes that occurred recently.

3 min read
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Edited By :Padmashree Pande

The aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), on Thursday, 16 June, said that it has, till date, audited 30 functional flying training organisations (FTOs) since 21 March this year.

Till now, numerous lapses have been reported and action is being taken accordingly, aviation regulator Arun Kumar said, as per Times New Network (TNN).

Following reports of numerous violations of safety measures, one flying school's license has been suspended while some chief flying instructors (CFIs) are being grounded, reports suggested.

In the audit, it was found that "the facilities at the airfield/training organisation are not being maintained as per the requirements – runway surface was found worn out, wind sock was found torn or nonstandard," the DGCA noted.

The safety audit comes after a spate of fatal aircraft accidents and crashes that occurred recently.


Countless Deficiencies and Violations

From cases of "false logging" and quality deficient training procedures, to student pilots not being briefed properly about emergencies and improper use of testing equipment, the audit has found countless violations.

“Emergency response plan was not practiced and contained obsolete contact details. The emergency response plan is of great importance when an accident/incident occurs,” the statement said.

"Few of the instructors, student pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers did not undergo BA (breathalyser) test or submit undertaking prior to commencement of duty/exercise of privileges," the DGCA's statement continued.

While on the other hand, the basic pre-flight alcohol test regulations were not abided by at certain FTOs, the statement read, as per news agency PTI.

“Aircraft with faulty or unserviceable instruments such as fuel gauges, stall warning were found to be used for training. There were deficiencies in ground training of student pilot like overlap of flying training and ground training, lack of arrangement for ground training and not having the required instructors,” the DGCA added.

Action Taken Against the Violators

Actions against other FTOs are in order, and are "are at various stages", the statement said further.

The DGCA stated it has implemented “enforcement action (like issuing) warning letter to two accountable managers; suspension orders to two CFIs for a year, two CFIs for three months, one deputy CFI for a year, two deputy CFI for three months, one AFI for three months and one student for 3 months.”


Recent Aircraft Crashes

In a string of recent aircraft accidents, two pilots were killed in a helicopter crash at an airport in Chhattisgarh's Raipur on 12 May. The government claimed that the initial reports indicated that a technical malfunction had caused the accident.

In another incident, an Indian Army helicopter had crashed in Jammu and Kashmir's Guarez Sector near the Line of Control (LoC) on 11 March, while on a routine mission. One of the two pilots of the chopper had lost his life.

In February this year, a female trainee pilot died in an aircraft crash that occurred in Nalgonda district of Telangana. While the plane was caught between electrical wires, before crashing into agricultural fields, DSP Rema Rajeshwari told media that the trainee pilot was riding the two-seater aircraft alone.

Last year, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Bipin Rawat had passed away in December after an Indian Air Force (IAF) Mi-17V5 helicopter conveying the military officer, his wife, and other officials, met with a fatal crash in Tamil Nadu's Coonoor. This was the fifth military plane crash in 2021 alone.

(With inputs from TNN.)

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