A SpiceJet pilot’s license has been suspended by the DGCA (Directorate General of Civil Aviation) for 6 months following his part to play regarding SpiceJet Boeing 737 -800 flight affected by faced severe flight turbulence.
On May 1st, a flight from Mumbai to Durgapur took place that had disastrous consequences for the passengers on board. The SpiceJet Boeing 737-800 aircraft followed a route that went calmly at first, however, danger occurred within the last 30 minutes of the flight. As a result of the severe turbulence, the plane shook so immensely that up to 15 people, both passengers and cabin crew staff, were left severely injured. Following the incident, the DGCA revealed that some of the passengers were left with extreme injuries to the head and were forced to gain stitches. One passenger shockingly sustained a spinal injury during the incident. Those that were lucky enough to not be physically injured were still heavily psychologically impacted by the incident.
Could this incident have been avoided?
Following an investigation into the incident, the DGCA questioned the pilot’s decision to continue flying through severe flight turbulence, an action that other pilots purposely avoid. It has been revealed since that the pilot in control was advised by his co-pilot to avoid a route that was affected by bad weather, which he ignored. Consequently, the PIC ignoring the advice of his co-pilot and risking flying in an area affected by severe flight turbulence weather put himself, passengers, and the entire cabin crew in grave danger. Flight turbulence has been noted as the most common fear faced by passengers due to feeling particularly unsafe and having no control of the aircraft, which was ignored by the pilot in charge of the flight. Pilot Patrick Smith has addressed the issue of flight turbulence in his book “Cockpit Confidential”, and has assured passengers that a pilot would know what to do if faced with such a situation to ensure everybody is safe. An action disregarded by the SpiceJet pilot.
As a result of this action, the decision to revoke the pilot in control’s license for 6 months was made. Despite the pilot being disciplined, whether 6 months severe enough could be questioned as the incident could have resulted in life-changing consequences.
Do you believe that the SpiceJet pilot should have had his license suspended by the DGCA? Share your thoughts on this story below.