Indian Civil Aviation Regulator Enforces Action on Flight Training Industry Following Numerous Crashes

The following Press Note was shared by the Indian Civil Aviation Regulator – DGCA (Director General, Civil Aviation).

Director General, Civil Aviation ordered Special Safety Audits for all Flying Training Organisations (FTOs) in India to assess safety standards and systemic deficiencies in operations, maintenance and training.

The audit commenced from 21.03.2022. At the time of audit, there were 32 functional FTOs. Till date, audit of 30 FTOs have been completed. The audits brought out following salient safety deficiencies;

  1. Non Compliance of DGCA requirements for conduct of Breath-Analyzer (BA) examination i.e. few instructors, student pilots and aircraft maintenance engineers did not undergo BA test or submit undertaking prior to commencement of duty/exercise of privileges. In few cases the equipment being used were not in compliance with the requirements or calibrated as required.
  2. False logging was observed i.e. in a few cases dual flight has been logged as solo flight and few other cases the taxi time was calculated towards the instrument flying time of the student pilot.
  3. Operation of aircraft with faulty or unserviceable aircraft instruments such as fuel gauges, stall warning etc.
  4. Deficiencies in the ground training of student pilot i.e. overlap of flying training and ground training, lack of arrangement for ground training, not having the required instructors.
  5. Deficiencies in flying training procedures and their implementation i.e. student pilots not appropriately briefed and trained on emergencies/essential exercises before being released for solo flights/cross country, adhocism in allocation of trainers as trainers are frequently changed and thereby affecting the learning experience of student pilot.
  6. The facilities at the airfield/training organization are not being maintained as per the requirements i.e. runway surface was found worn out, wind sock was found torn or nonstandard.
  7. Emergency response plan was not practiced and contained obsolete contact details. The emergency response plan is of great importance when an accident/incident occurs.

Based on these audit findings and the findings in recent accident, enforcement action has been issued i.e.

  • Warning Letter to two Accountable Managers
  • Suspension orders to two Chief Flight Instructors for a year
  • Suspension orders to two Chief Flight Instructors for 3 months
  • Suspension order to one Deputy Chief Flight Instructor for a year
  • Suspension orders to two Deputy Flight Instructors for 3 months
  • Suspension order to one Assistant Flight Instructor for 3 months
  • Suspension order for one student for 3 months
  • Approval of one FTO has been suspended

Enforcement actions against other individuals/FTOs are at various stages.

Source – Indian DGCA

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