AirAsia India Executive Asked To Show Cause After Pilot Alleges Safety Violations

A top executive of AirAsia India has been issued a showcause notice after one of its pilots alleged violations of safety norms by the low-cost airline.

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“A showcause notice has been issued to Manish Uppal, Head of Operations, AirAsia India after the pilot’s allegations,” an official of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said.

Uppal has been asked to show cause two weeks after Captain Gaurav Taneja, who runs a YouTube channel called Flying Beast, spoke of safety norms violations by the airline.

“AirAsia India confirms receipt of the notice and we are assisting the regulator in its fact finding process. We will fully cooperate with the regulator,” an AirAsia India spokesperson said.

Captain Taneja, a popular YouTuber, tweeted on June 14 that he has been suspended by AirAsia India “for standing up for safe operations of an aircraft and its passengers”.

On June 15, he posted a detailed video on YouTube titled, ‘Reasons behind suspension from my pilot job’. Taneja alleged that the airline has asked its pilots to do 98 per cent of landings in ‘Flap 3’ mode, which allows it to save fuel.

He further said that if a pilot does not do that, it’s considered as violation of standard operating procedure (SOP). Flaps are part of wings of an aircraft and they are engaged to create a drag during a landing or a take-off.

Citing the example of Imphal airport, where the plane descends more steeply compared to other airports when approaching for landing, Taneja said in such circumstances a pilot has to do a ‘Flap full’ landing.

“But in order to achieve targets, what would people do? They will do Flap 3 landings without giving consideration whether i, vit is safe or unsafe. This directly impacts the passenger safety,” he said in his video.

The DGCA said via Twitter that it has already started an investigation into the issues flagged and shall take appropriate action based on its outcome.

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