Air India Pilots Penalized For Gentlemanly Behavior

Tuesday, 23rd July 2013 at 04:13am

In the West, offering a seat to a lady is a gesture commonly associated to a gentleman. And that's what the two pilots were exactly doing during a flight. The lucky lady happened to be the beautiful actress Nithya Menen.

And so you thought they did the right thing? And they got booted out for that? Then you exclaimed in disbelief, knowing there's nothing wrong with being genteel and polite to others, especially those who are in fairer sex and elderly people. Oh no!

But wait. There's something amiss here. The seats that the two pilots offered to the actress were not ordinary seats inside the plane. Neither the business seat nor the first-class seat. And, definitely, not the economy seat �" It was their seat inside the cockpit!

According to the passenger, who was the complainant, the plane was already cruising at high altitude when the actress went inside the cockpit. She sat on the observer's seat which is usually reserved for examiners and other personnel authorized by DGCA.

The entry of any person other than the pilots themselves or authorized personnel by DGCA is strictly disallowed. Any violation would carry a harsh penalty against the offender.

Following the 9/11 incident in the United States, airlines around the world have revised their safety rules and policies both in ground or in-flight operations.

Indian airlines have made quite a lot of news the past few months. In April this year, two members of female flight crew of an airline were allowed inside the cockpit when one of the two pilots took a long break. A month later, in May, an Air India flight made an emergency landing in Bhopal when the main pilot was unable to get inside the cockpit after the cockpit door malfunctioned.

After the successive incidents happening this year alone, the aviation regulator is planning to impose harsher penalties against the offenders.

The offenders in the latest incident were identified as Jagan M. Reddy and S. Kiran. According to the airline source, the two pilots have already been suspended while it is conducting its own probe.

An investigation by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is also underway.

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