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Jet Aiways/DGCA: The Saga Continues

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Jet Aiways/DGCA: The Saga Continues

Old 15th Oct 2014, 16:59
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Jet Aiways/DGCA: The Saga Continues

Not good news for either the Operator or Regulator leading up to the FAA audit:

NEW DELHI: Jet Airways' troubles with documentation of pilot records and licences doesn't seem to be ending. The airline has now found that some pilots have been flying without valid annual line check certificates.

An internal check by Jet Airways has discovered that three pilots' certificates had expired, prompting airline officials to raise the alarm. "This is not just a safety issue and the fear is that there may be many more such pilots flying with the airline," said a Jet Airways executive with knowledge of the matter.

Line check certification is a process by which a pilot's flying is monitored by a trainer sitting in the cockpit through a flight to ensure that all defined norms are followed in letter and spirit. During the flight, pilots are expected to use their best judgment, even under unusual circumstances, and have to convince the trainer of their abilities. A mistake by the pilot would warrant further training.

Failure to renew line check certificates of pilots could attract punishment as stringent as grounding of the airline, which experts say could be held responsible for the lapse. An e-mail sent to Jet Airways last Friday and a reminder sent on Monday did not elicit any response at the time of going to print. Jet Airways, controlled by founder and Chairman Naresh Goyal, has about 1,100 pilots. Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways owns a 24% stake in Jet.

"This is an airline's fault much more than the pilots'. In such cases, the airline could be grounded, according to the rules," said Mohan Ranganathan, a former member of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation's safety committee.

Of the three pilots with expired annual line check certificates, two had done their line check flights with pilots who were not trainers. The validity of the third pilot's certificate had been wrongly entered, violating line check norms.

"It cannot be termed a mistake if such problems are recurring. It is a lapse on the part of the operational management team of the airline. All the details of training and check of pilots are computerised and it is highly unlikely that someone can miss it. So, either it was fed into the computers incorrectly or it was overlooked," said Shakti Lumba, a former vice-president with Air India and IndiGo.

During a recent training audit on Jet Airways, the DGCA found 131 pilots flying with lapsed proficiency check certificates, which are to be renewed twice a year. The audit was ordered after a Jet Airways Boeing 777-300 ER (Extended Range) operating between Mumbai and Brussels plunged 5,000 feet from an altitude of 34,000 feet.

The audit report had said the airline faces a severe shortage of trainers across its ATR and Boeing fleets.

Jet Airways' endless troubles: Three pilots found holding expired line check certificates - The Economic Times
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Old 18th Oct 2014, 05:32
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License Lapse

Certainly this is more the airlines fault than that of the pilots. The airline has and is supposed to schedule and carry out necessary checks by their DGCA appointed check pilots, instructors & examiners to keep their pilots licenses current before they expire. A line pilot who is busy flying day in and day out may forget the renewal part, though it is also his responsibility to do so and give the airline a 'heads up' on this issue.
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Old 18th Oct 2014, 06:41
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So using your logic Aeronotix, a pilot is not responsible to know when his medical is do? How about when the rent is do? How about his parents' or significant other' birthday.

That's La La Lan thinking chum. A responsible airman keeps records of not only expiration dates, but also flight time and duty limitations too! Yes it's nice if the company keeps track, but ultimate responsibility lies solely with the airman.

When you leave the nest and take on personal responsibiliies, then, you'll understand the realities that no is going to look after yourself, except and only yourself.
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Old 18th Oct 2014, 14:04
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Agreed...

The documents are not the property of the company. The document is the property of the document holder...that person being you the pilot. Therefore, if you don't do your due diligence, there can be problems.

There is another side of this coin however. The DGCA is required as a part of the operator oversight, to conduct audits of various parts of the AOC holders departments and various documentation. One such subject area of these audits happens to be personal records...licenses, medicals and training files.

We know the state of affairs with the DGCA and its ongoing problems. The documentary lapses at Jet and better than average possibility of the same lapses at the other operators will undoubtedly gain the microscopic review of the FAA and EASA. Don't look for Cat 2 to be lifted immediately.
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Old 19th Oct 2014, 01:07
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Let's look at the licenses/Documents that a pilot in today's times has to keep track of :

1) ATPL
2) Medical (Twice a year if you are an old fart like me )
3) RT
4) English Language Proficiency
5) PPC (Twice a year)
6) AVSEC
7) Dangerous Goods Certificate
8) Route Check. (Yearly)
9) Weekly,Monthly and Annual FDTL (and Overtime
10) Transit Check
11) Annual Refresher
12) Logbook
13) Low Visibility approvals.

Would a pilot be willfully negligent of these duties ? I think the problem here is that the punishment is not commensurate with the offense.Also regulations need to be more explicit (and not confusing)
The company cannot absolve itself of its responsibilities either.

PS: What is the penalty/procedure followed by EASA/FAA in the event of such a lapse ? I personally feel that financial penalties in the form of fines should suffice.
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Old 19th Oct 2014, 02:13
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Like any profession it comes with certain responsibilities and due diligence on behalf of the airman.

Records of expiration? Entered in all my logbooks in the pages provided in all my books, including my Jet Airways Logbook. That said... In 38 years, I've never ever flown non-current, nor illegal.

Expiration dates are clearly visible on PC forms, Competency Cards, and Line Check Forms. So what is the problem with self policing and verifications?

True carriers must play an active role concerning all legalities. At the end of the day, be it in the US, the EU, and yes, even in India, the responsibility rests, and rightfully so, with the pilot. A pilot being scheduled whilst non current is inexcusable by the airline, and just plane unacceptable by the crewmembers him/herself.
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Old 19th Oct 2014, 02:46
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If DGCA decides to punish pilots on the premise that 'Safety' was compromised, then it is incumbent upon them as the Apex Regulatory Body to investigate if the lapse was due to wilful negligence or due to their own 'confounding' regulations.

Their job is not just to perpetrate a fear culture and dole out punishments.Their job is to ensure that such lapses do not occur in the first place.

When a sheep or two goes astray you may use the stick on them.But when half the flock flounders, then it is time to kick the herdsman.
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Old 20th Oct 2014, 01:07
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When a sheep or two goes astray you may use the stick on them.But when half the flock flounders, then it is time to kick the herdsman.

Good one Capt Apache!
Alt3.
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Old 20th Oct 2014, 08:32
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A line pilot who is busy flying day in and day out may forget the renewal part, though it is also his responsibility to do so and give the airline a 'heads up' on this issue.
At no stage did I mention that it was not the Pilots responsibility. Read before you jump to answer
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Old 20th Oct 2014, 10:44
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You have to admit, we all know when the basics of PPC, IR , Route/Line check and medicals are due at any given time, even if its not the exact date we can all ascertain where its due, overdue or current... its surely is the Pilots responsibility in my book in addition to the companies.
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Old 20th Oct 2014, 13:11
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Grrr Bullseye

You all missed the point here, the chaps caught with expired certificates were company men, they were filling-in for gaps of pilots reporting sick, or new trainees still under training.

Good you all seem to believe in rules and responsibility, alas, the company also has a computer database that raises yellow flags when pilots are pushing the limits, but few good soldiers left out today to get the job done regardless.

Safety compromised? How many of you understand the logic of this rules? Money buys everything, including DGCA inspectors who are underpaid and now under pressure from new government to regain its status.

75% of B777 drivers to be sent home by 31/10 are FAA licensed holders, what a coincidence?
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Old 20th Oct 2014, 15:21
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75% of B777 drivers to be sent home by 31/10 are FAA licensed holders, what a coincidence?
At least they're legal to fly
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Old 26th Oct 2014, 13:52
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I'm with Capt Apache on this one.

In India there are way too many bs licenses. Too much to keep track of. These are "make-work" things that are done to justify the bureaucracy that keeps people employed and getting paid (it's the Indian way). In the US all we have to do is keep track of our medical and annual PC. Easy.

As far as a logbook, Capt Jns. You're one of the few Westerners that still do it. Pretty much aviator I know doesn't. I still do mine (once a year), but I have no idea why. I don't plan to ever fly contract work overseas again. The airline has complex IT systems that track that information for me. If I want to know my hours in the past 30 ,90, 1 yr or 5 yrs, all I do is send and email and that info will be provided to me. Why log it?

At my company we went through a recent merger and the changes have been near constant. Nobody can keep up with all of it because we don't read our manual in my days off. If there is a new requirement for a CBT or a quarterly/ annual course, I expect the airline to notify me and I'll get it done... and I'm 99% certain that's how all the other pilots at my company think. Why? because the rules for those things keep changing. It's a moving target based on meetings the FAA and the company have. What is normal training this year, won't be next year. Even the daily pilot bulletins they put out has to have a limit in terms of what the pilot can retain. I recall flying on contract in India and something happening on the line when I didn't follow procedure. The 'ole "how can you not know this? We put a bulletin out about it 6 months ago!" doesn't fly with me. You want to train me by bulletin? Expect there to be flaws in the system. Airlines in India need to get it together with the tracking. They're the ones maintaining the massive IT systems that track all this stuff.
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Old 26th Oct 2014, 15:29
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Points well taken Geebz. I've flown in many countries in both Eastern and Western Hemispheres as well as both North and South of the Equator for the past 38 years. The only differences in all these carriers is the paint schemes... and that's it. Memos and bulletins have been and are still issued to cover up the inadequecies of management. Mostly, because they bastardized flight manuals issued by the manufacturers. Many transplanted managers and chief pilots loved the procedures from their previous carrier, which may have been from a different country. And now these procedures are not applicable and contrary to the civil aviation regulations where they currently fly.

Ultimately no matter the country of operation... the airman is fully responsible for their own legalities.

Find me a country that holds PICs harmless for everything and lays blame on the company, and I'm their
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Old 27th Oct 2014, 08:10
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When I joined Jet, I was asked to clear a whole host of US pilots to fly on line after doing a single PPC in the sim. Some had not flown for 2 years, some with zero time on the 777, but 767 rated.
Needless to say, I refused, and signed them off as refreshers. Lo behold, they were rostered the next day for line flights.

The DGCA were being paid off for just about everything by Jet. The contact and money man, was in Delhi with bags of cash, and lived in the DGCA. He had to pay off the DGCA for licences, Air Law, and a host of other things.

I am yet to come across any filthier or stupider organisation in the aviation world than the DGCA, period.

Now, with the shit hitting the fan, they are accusing the airlines and pilots.
The scumbags in the DGCA should be tracked down, and made to pay for practically destroying, and holding to ransom the entire Indian Aviation industry.
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Old 28th Oct 2014, 05:41
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Well said rdr. Hit the nail on the head.
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