The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) will serve a show-cause notice to a SpiceJet pilot-in-command, seeking a response to a photograph of a coffee cup placed on a start lever inside the cockpit of an aircraft that went viral on social media.
The image had drawn criticism from the aviator community for its flagrant disdain for safety. The airline claimed it had been able to identify the two pilots and off-rostered them. At the same time, an investigation is conducted, despite the fact that the picture didn’t show the faces of the involved pilots and only featured two individuals carrying an Indian sweet dumpling (gujiya) and an open coffee cup on top of a start lever.
The event took place on March 8, Holi Day, when gujiya is customarily eaten. The pilots were using a Boeing 737-NG to travel from Delhi to Guwahati. After the investigation was over, the airline promised “appropriate disciplinary action.”
A senior DGCA official said on the condition of anonymity that the pilot-in-command will be issued a show-cause notice. It has also urged the airline “to take necessary corrective action for preventing such failures in future.”
Some pilots claimed on social media that placing a cup of coffee on top of the fuel cut-off value was extremely risky. The liquid inside might spill and damage the engine’s and the auxiliary power unit’s fire-fighting system in the event of unanticipated turbulence or if struck by the hand. In the worst situation, it might even interfere with communications systems.
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