Air Asia Airlines got a notice from aviation regulator DGCA after one of its pilot, a popular youtuber Gaurav Taneja alleges violation of safety norms by cutting costs on several paramters.
“A show cause notice has been issued to Manish Uppal, Head of Operations, AirAsia India after the pilot’s allegations,” the DGCA officials said.
An AirAsia India spokesperson said, “AirAsia India confirms receipt of the notice and that we are assisting the regulator in its fact finding process. we’ll fully cooperate with the regulator.”
Captain Gaurav Taneja, a well-liked Youtuber, tweeted on Flag Day that he has been suspended by AirAsia India “for standing up for safe operations of an aircraft and its passengers”. On June 15, he posted an in depth video on YouTube titled “Reasons behind suspension from my pilot job”.
Taneja alleged within the video that the airline has asked its pilots to try to to 98 per cent of landings in “Flap 3” mode, which allows it to save lots of fuel. He said if a pilot doesn’t do 98 per cent of landings in “Flap 3” mode, the airline considers it a violation of its standard procedure (SOP).
Flaps are a part of wings of an aircraft and that they are engaged to make a haul during a landing or a take-off.
Taneja gave the instance of the Imphal airport, where the plane descends more steeply as compared to other airports when approaching for landing. He said when an aircraft is coming down steeply, it must have a haul in order that it remains slow, and in these circumstances a pilot has got to do a “Flap full” landing.
“In order to realize targets, what would people do? they’re going to do Flap 3 landings without giving consideration whether it’s safe or unsafe. This directly impacts the passenger safety,” he said in his YouTube video.
If something happens during a Flap 3 landing, then the question would be asked to the pilot if he or she cares more about saving fuel or 180 passengers’ lives, Taneja said.
On June 15, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said on Twitter that it had taken note of the concerns raised by some stakeholders “against a specific airline and its approach to safety”.
“DGCA has already started an investigation into the problems flagged and shall take appropriate action supported the result of the said investigation,” it added.
Senior DGCA officials had confirmed on June 15 itself that AirAsia India was under investigation after Taneja’s allegations.