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Don't make captain and crew 'scapegoats' in urinating incident: Ex-pilots to Air India

"If the cabin crew department and Air India did not read or react promptly to the report, how can they blame the captain now? De-rostering and giving the captain a show cause notice is completely unfair and ridiculous," said Captain Panesar, ex-pilot and former flight safety and training director.
 

Don t make captain and crew 'scapegoats' in urinating incident: Ex-pilots to Air India - adt
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First Published Jan 8, 2023, 7:38 PM IST

A group of serving and retired pilots has strongly criticised the de-rostering of the captain and crew of a New York-Delhi flight in which a drunken male passenger urinated on a female co-passenger in Air India's flight. 

Air India's CEO and Managing Director, Campbell Wilson, issued a statement on Saturday saying that four cabin crew and one pilot had been issued show cause notice and de-rostered pending an investigation. In his statement, Wilson, however, hasn't given any reason for taking action against all five of them. 

His statement further noted that the airline was aware of the incident just a day after it happened on November 26, as he wrote, Upon receipt of the complaint on November 27, Air India acknowledged receipt and commenced engaging in correspondence with the affected passenger's family on November 30." He didn't mention whether the complaint came from the flight crew, captain, or someone else. 

According to Air India sources, when the flight in question, AI 102, landed in Delhi, the cabin crew in charge filled out a detailed report of what happened and was counter-signed by the captain. 

Ex-pilot and former director of flight safety and training of erstwhile Indian Airline, Captain S S Panesar, said, "According to the laid down procedure, after every flight, the cabin crew in charge fills out a report of what happened in the cabin during the flight. It has been read and counter-signed by the captain."

"If the cabin crew department and Air India did not read or react promptly to the report, how can they blame the captain now? De-rostering and giving the captain a show cause notice is completely unfair and ridiculous," added Captain Panesar. He believes Air India is making the crew and the captain scapegoats to avoid embarrassment and their fault. 

"Officers such as the Director of Inflight services and other higher-ups in the organisation who sat on the report or attempted to broker a deal between the accused and the victim should instead be punished," he said.

The pilot community is rallying behind the crew and captain, believing that if any action had been taken against them, it would have been taken on November 27 or immediately following the incident.

According to them, the de-rostering of the crew was a clear attempt by the airline to deflect and dissipate blame. 

(With inputs from PTI)

Also read: Air India 'urinating' case: Accused Shankar Mishra arrested from Bengaluru, brought to Delhi

Also read: Airport passes issued to employees, visitors with 'distorted' map of India withdrawn

Also read: Air India 'urination' case: Accused Shankar Mishra sacked by his company Wells Fargo

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