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Letter To Minister of Civil Aviation From Air India Pilots

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Letter To Minister of Civil Aviation From Air India Pilots

Old 18th Feb 2011, 20:08
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Letter To Minister of Civil Aviation From Air India Pilots

And the government is celebrating 100 years of civil aviation in India. What abyssmal depths have a few bureaucrats ,politicians and a self serving management brought Air India down to !

Here's a reality check on an airline that was created by pilots and now blatantly mistreats its frontline employees.


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Without Prejudice
Ref No: IPG/
Date: 14 Feb 2011

To,
1. Shri. Vayalar Ravi,
Hon’ble Union Minister of Civil Aviation,
Ministry of Civil Aviation,
New Delhi

2. Shri. Praful Patel,
Hon’ble Union Minister for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises,
Ministry for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises,
New Delhi

3. Shri. Mallikarjun Kharge,
Hon’ble Union Minister for Employment and Labour,
Ministry for Employment and Labour,
New Delhi

Subject: Culture of Lawlessness ,Oppression and Mistreatment of Pilots in erstwhile Air India

Sir,

Over the last few months the management of Air India has adopted a hostile and extremely partisan approach towards the pilots of erstwhile Air India, viz. members of the IPG. The management has repeatedly discriminated against, mistreated and even endangered the lives of pilots of erstwhile Air India.

The following are instances of the above:

1.Fraudulent Amendment of Air Safety Regulations Resulting In Grave Danger To The Lives of Pilots and Passengers:
Rules and regulations meant to reduce pilot fatigue and the probability of human error related air accidents – known as FDTL regulations- are routinely flouted by Air India. The company often claims that it has verbal waivers of these critically important rules from the Government and declines to provide proof when pilots demand the same. Pilots are then forced to operate flights under coercion and fear. On one recent occasion, media reports proved that Air India officials had fraudulently amended a part of these rules in an attempt to force exhausted pilots to fly. Such criminal malpractices regularly continue in Air India.

2.Discrimination in payment of Wages:

The company, whilst routinely deferring the payment of monthly dues to Indian employees, citing a liquidity crunch- pays all foreigners, including pilots and senior executives on time, in foreign accounts.

However, all the Indian employees are subsequently paid all their monthly dues on a specific revised date, while the pilots of erstwhile Air India are not. They are only paid a small fraction initially and the remainder is released in small installments over a period of several weeks resulting in hardship and uncertainty.

This discrimination has been occurring on a regular basis. All written representations, made to the management regarding this issue, remain unanswered.

Kindly note, that while all other sections of employees were paid all dues for January 2011, on 14 February 2011, the pilots of erstwhile Air India have only been paid a part of their emoluments. This latest example highlights the partisan attitude of the management officials.

Clearly, a section of the Air India management harbors a bias and ill will against the pilots of erstwhile Air India.

3.Stagnation in training Indian pilots in order to continue the employment of foreign pilots at exorbitantly higher costs:
For the last several years, Air India has justified the recruitment of foreign pilots, who are paid higher and work a lesser number of days, citing a shortage of trained pilots. While these foreign pilots have been employed for over 5 years, the company has not made any efforts to replace them with Indians, by training our own experienced and qualified first officers (co-pilots) as commanders.

In an attempt to expedite pilot training, many senior first officers (copilots) were assigned from Air India to Air India Express- the low cost subsidiary of Air India. However, due to gross mismanagement - especially in the training department, the training of these pilots has come to a virtual standstill. In a number of cases pilots have been on ground in excess of one year- resulting in massive losses to the company.

As a result of this stagnation in training, the company has perpetuated an artificial shortage of commanders (pilots). This is then cited as an excuse for the continued employment of foreign pilots. We strongly suspect some officials have a vested financial interest through the continued employment of foreign pilots - through recruitment agencies based on foreign shores.

It is a cruel irony that while the Indian taxpayers’ money is being sought to bail out Air India and its subsidiaries – foreign pilots are continually given preference over Indians. We have repeatedly highlighted this issue to the management and even suggested a number of remedial measures to expedite training. The management has neither responded to our letters nor taken any cognizance of our inputs.

As a last resort we had also written to the Independent Directors on the Air India Board, citing the financial implication of the stagnation in training of commanders.


5. Harassment of Pilots In case of Inability to Operate flights due to Sickness/Ill Health :
Over the last 7 months, officials of Air India’s Operations Department have been harassing pilots who are unable to illegally operate flights due to illness. In the event of legitimately availing sick leave, pilots are being threatened with disciplinary action and huge financial penalties. As a result a number of pilots are being coerced into concealing their illnesses and are being made to operate flights even when they are medically unfit to do so.

The actions of a few misguided officials of Air India’s Operations Department have created a potentially hazardous situation endangering the lives of passengers who fly Air India.

We have made a number of written representations to the Air India Management and to the DGCA. However, we have not received responses from any of the agencies.

Infact, we were alarmed to note that misleading information was recently communicated in response to queries raised on this issue at the Rajya Sabha.

It is clear that the management is adopting a hostile attitude towards the IPG and is now resorting to unconstitutional means. It appears that the Air India management is intentionally provoking industrial unrest, in order to deflect attention from their criminal mismanagement of Air India.

As is evident, we have consistently sought to amicably resolve all these outstanding issues despite the hostile approach of the management which has been completely unresponsive. It appears that the patient, reasoned approach of the IPG has been construed as a weakness.

We thus humbly seek your urgent and immediate intervention to resolve these issues within an acceptable time frame, failing which lawful proceedings calling for strike action will have to be initiated. It will be appreciated that precious human lives, valuable national resources and the very survival of Air India are at stake, while the clock is rapidly ticking away.


Yours truly,



Mr. Jeetendra Awhad,
President

CC: Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation
CC: Secretary, Ministry for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises
CC: Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment
CC: Chairman and Managing Director, Air India Ltd
CC: Independent Directors, Members of the Board, Air India Ltd
CC: Director – Personnel, Air India Ltd
CC: Director – Finance, Air India Ltd
CC: Executive Director – Industrial Relations, Air India Ltd
CC: Executive Director – Operations, Air India Ltd
CC: Assistant Labour Commissioner – Central, Mumbai
CC: All IPG Members
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Old 19th Feb 2011, 00:38
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Why not address DGCA?

With safety issues involved, one has to wonder why they omitted to include DGCA in the letter.

From everything I've read and heard about DGCA, I'm not sure that would help, but at least cover your bases!
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Old 19th Feb 2011, 05:55
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Some of this is same same in EK
Without wishing to derail (so let's keep this brief) which bits are the same in EK?
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Old 19th Feb 2011, 11:07
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Bahraini Chief Operating Officer of Jet Airways, condemns Indian pilots

The facts of the Indian pilots discriminatory treatment, as described in the above letter, must hurt even more when a Bahraini national, Mr. Hamid Ali, is hired as Chief Operating Officer of an Indian airline and authorizes non-Indian, pilot recruitment. Mr. Ali appears on Indian television to condemn Indian pilots and then represents the airline in negotiations with those same Indian pilots!

view You Tube TV video of Mr. Hamid Ali condemning Indian pilots at the link below:

YouTube - Efforts on to break deadlock: Jet Airways COO

TT
_______________________________________

The 'incredible' Mr. Hamid Ali:

Mr. Hamid Ali, a Bahraini national, joined Jet Airways in October 2007 and holds the position of Chief Operating Officer.

Mr. Hamid Ali was the A320 Chief Pilot at Gulf Air when a perfectly serviceable A320 was flown into the Persian Gulf killing all on board.

The ICAO report found:

"A lack of a crew resources management (CRM) training programme; inadequacy in some of the airline’s A320 flight crew training programmes; problems in the airline’s flight data analysis system and flight safety department which were not functioning satisfactorily; organisational and management issues within the airline"


The ICAO report available to the PUBLIC can be found at the following link:

GF072 Final Report (at the page, click on blue sub-sections to view)

Additionally, the BBC reported:

"The chief pilot of Gulf Air's Airbus A320 fleet, Captain Hamid Ali, has previously rejected reports that pilot error was behind the crash"

The link to the BBC report available to the PUBLIC is:

BBC News | MIDDLE EAST | Gulf Air improves offer

When Jet Airways first began operating the B777, expat pilots were flying the aircraft as PIC without ever having passed a company simulator check and/or line check.

Last edited by Tommy Tilt; 21st Feb 2011 at 11:57.
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Old 20th Feb 2011, 13:40
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1.Fraudulent Amendment of Air Safety Regulations Resulting In Grave Danger To The Lives of Pilots and Passengers
Well, despite of formal announcement of centenary celebrations of Indian Aviation, I doubt the ability of a Minister to control the rot in the system, whether it is fraudulent amendment of FDL by AI; facilitating the medicals and related issues or addressing sleep/rest schedule for the safe skies.
One can only wait and watch for things to improve, fingers crossed!
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Old 21st Feb 2011, 20:47
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Having worked for an Indian company (admitedly non-Aviaition) I can't understand why people in India tolerate things such as non or late payment. I expect the ex-pats are paid to prevent them walking. Why don't Indian staff just do the same or walk;

After all they presumably could get a job elsewhere as an ex-pat themselves and be paid on time.

India must stop blaming the rest of the world for its inadequacies and rise to meet international standards. With their booming economy surely they can afford to now - or is there sucess linked to a cheapness/late/low standards situation.

In my view from an international perspective the country would be helped enormously by a readily accessible quick acting legal system, which would allow employees to take legal action when salaries can't be/aren't paid.

Come on plots how about suing your employer. Trouble is it would take 10 years- no quick court injunctions in India
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Old 23rd Feb 2011, 00:16
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GulF Air 072, Management.

Surprising to see Hamid Ali coming up for air with another program. Even more surprised to hear him defending a position that the GF072 accident was not pilot error. He was in the management group advised by one of the TRI/TRE's of the GD072 Captain during his upgrade that he was not competent to be flying. The TRI/TRE resigned in protest over the response of management, and wrote to management prior to the accident. (I sighted the copy of the letter post the event, and in another part of the world. I have no reason to believe this to be other than genuine).

Is there a statute of limitations in Bahrain? (is there still a govt? )

JetAir got what it paid for.
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Old 23rd Feb 2011, 12:07
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Tommy Tilt... Can you substatiate the no IR/LR statement by the 9W Check Airmen?

Last edited by captjns; 24th Feb 2011 at 12:37.
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Old 23rd Feb 2011, 13:06
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Likely the most important point to the letter writers is the facts about the foreign pilots. That is the real aim. If it were really a concern about safety overall, then perhaps there would be mention about extremely low time locals flying these jets. Not a word mentioned.

I suggest that the western expats are keeping the accident rate down.

Congratulations Air India on putting safety ahead of nationalism.(at least in this area).
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Old 23rd Feb 2011, 15:20
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captjns:

I can confirm that on at least two passenger revenue flights on the B777 at Jet Airways, both pilots had never had (i) a Jet Airways B777 simulator check (ii) a Jet Airways B777 line check. An absolute fact.

You may be PM me for further details.
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Old 23rd Feb 2011, 15:46
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Tommy Tilt : Jet Airways as TopTup :Air India.
Hmmmmm........i wonder why they both have the same initials in their handles
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Old 23rd Feb 2011, 16:57
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beeps;
Do you apply the same twisted logic to all names having the same coincidental initials? - how ludicrous. If my initials were JC, would you credit me with performing miracles!
I have no connection with any user name other than my own.
Frankly, if you are capable, you may wish to consider posting something more substantive and relevant to the thread.
Best wishes,
Tom
(if you remove your insinuating post, I will reciprocate)

Last edited by Tommy Tilt; 23rd Feb 2011 at 20:59.
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Old 24th Feb 2011, 00:37
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Tommy T.

You're posting biased and incorrect information, which is far from honest:

1 - at the time of B777 introduction at Jet Airways there were NO JET AIRWAYS B777 simulator and of course no JA B777 check airmen;

2 - ALL the expats underwent full simulator check before joining JA done by a DGCA recognized foreign check airman; all of them underwent line checks; all of them were fully current on type and the less experienced had more than 2,500 hr PIC ON TYPE and in excess of 15,000 hr clean records, from airlines like Delta, Continental, American Airlines, Singapore, Korean Airlines, Austrian etc.

You're disqualifying yourself with wrong information.

On the other hand the main problems with AI wasn't barely touched by their pilots association. Do your homework and search a lot of posts here.

For instance, did you know that a B777 senior local captain got a low altitude stick shaker after a MGW take off due to plain incompetence and nothing happened to him?
He almost killed 300 passengers and crew and is still at large.
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Old 25th Feb 2011, 05:27
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fullforward:

2 - ALL the expats underwent full simulator check before joining JA done by a DGCA recognized foreign check airman
You are 100% wrong.

I refer specifically to the second Jet Airways B777 aircraft, first revenue flight, immediately after it arrived in BOM from DEL, on the trip BOM-LHR, LHR-BOM:

Neither the expat Captain nor the expat F/O (Captain) had EVER received a Jet Airways B777 simulator check nor line check by a DGCA designated company check airman. The only 'check' they had received by Jet Airways was a pre-hire simulator assesment in a B737!

You're posting biased and incorrect information, which is far from honest
If you are connected in any way with the DGCA and/or Jet Airways, I suggest you check the TRAINING RECORDS for the pilots operating that particular flight. The lack of simulator check and line check records will be exposed - then we will see who is correct and honest.

Before you accuse anyone of being incorrect and dishonest, be certain of your facts - schmuck!

TT

Last edited by Tommy Tilt; 25th Feb 2011 at 13:33.
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Old 25th Feb 2011, 13:38
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Nice comeback TT....
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Old 25th Feb 2011, 13:54
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Touche....
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Old 25th Feb 2011, 15:29
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TT

Speaking as one who was there i can confirm that certain 'oversights' occurred within the early days of the B777 introduction however a few months later and by late 2007 a conventional induction process was in place and operating and it was my observation that there was an absolute intent to crew all flights with properly qualified crew......of course subsequent 'oversights' may have occurred but I'm certainly not aware of any
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Old 26th Feb 2011, 20:12
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Sorry TT

I sincerely doubt that somebody would invest some few billions of dollars to start an operation and would take chances with just a few formalities.
If you knew the details and didn't took any action you're an accomplice and endorsed the whole thing.

You're missing the botton line. What's more dangerous: a fully current, extremely experienced and professional crew that operated a flight without a stamped sheet of paper or some incompetent, inept, downright criminal crew who endanger hundreds of lifes whithout nothing happening to them?
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Old 27th Feb 2011, 12:31
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fullforward;

I sincerely doubt that somebody would invest some few billions of dollars to start an operation and would take chances with just a few formalities.
Despite being provided with specific details, you seem unwilling to accept the "confirmed" facts that "certain oversights" occurred during the B777 introduction at Jet Airways. You apologise to me in one sentence and in the next, accuse me of being an "accomplice" to acts of impropriety after the fact. However, you make no mention of the utter incompetence by Jet Airways flight 'management' nor the lack of proper supervision by the Indian DGCA.

You have invalidated your credibility with wholly incorrect statements, false accusations and your implied confused state. Although deserving, I will refrain from giving you any further derogatory label as anyone reading your post will conclude you have performed that task quite competently yourself. I trust you will not insult yourself further.

I reiterate; when Jet Airways first began operating the B777, expat pilots were flying the aircraft as PIC without ever having passed a Jet Airways B777 simulator check and/or line check. On the flight I detailed, the only 'check' the pilots had received by Jet Airways, was a pre-hire assessment in a B737 simulator.

To return to the subject of this thread; the Indian pilots have many issues, my point is and remains; any discriminatory treatment between locals and expats (at Jet Airways), must be particularly hard to accept when they are endorsed and administered by a Bahraini national with questionable flight management skills, as detailed in public reports (ref above posts).

TT

Last edited by Tommy Tilt; 28th Feb 2011 at 11:36.
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Old 28th Feb 2011, 01:12
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Pilot who 'landed plane nose-first' faked licence documents

An Indian pilot who allegedly landed a passenger plane on its nose wheel faked documents to obtain her licence and had a record of poor landings, newspapers reported Sunday.

Parminder Kaur Gulati, who has had the licence revoked, "used the nose wheel to touch down instead of the rear landing gear" at the end of a commercial flight from New Delhi to Goa last month, the Times of India reported.

An inquiry into her performance then revealed she had landed planes incorrectly between 10 and 15 times, Indian media said, citing information from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA).

Gulati, who works for budget carrier IndiGo, was found to have forged papers to get her airline transport pilot licence (ATPL).

"We have revoked her licence. The pilot seems to have obtained an ATPL by submitting forged documents," director-general of civil aviation Bharat Bhushan told the Times. "We are going to file a police complaint."

The DGCA is probing how she got her licence having failed the examination seven times, the paper added.

IndiGo said: "We will follow any instructions from the regulator."
 

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