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Hundred's Of India's Airline Pilots Have Not Received Their Pilot Proficiency Checks (PPC)

October 26, 2014 - India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is in the process of taking action against India's state owned Air India for failing to insure their pilots are current under the mandatory pilot proficiency checks (PPCs). 

The DGCA has learned that 102 Air India airline pilots are not PPC current and that those pilots are flying commercial aircraft without a valid pilots license. Under the PPC, pilots engaged in licensed air transport service are required to undergo a proficiency check two times a year. 


An earlier PPC regulation called for the PPC to be carried out in either actual flight and or in an approved simulator, at intervals of not less than 4 months and not more than 8 months as per IR/PPC DGCA regulations. However, in September 2013, the DGCA issued a new rule that made it clearer for the airlines which stated pilots will undergo PPCs every six months. 

The failure to insure pilots are current is not only a problem for Air India but it has been a problem for several airline carriers in India. Many of the air carriers in India not only are not current on their PPC's but they are also not current with ground refresher training, security training, dangerous goods regulations training, etc., this isn't a recent problem, but rather a problem that has been going on for years. Last month DGCA grounded 131 Jet Airways pilots for not being PPC current and suspended Jet Airways training chief. 

Back in 2010, the pilot of a Jet Airways Boeing 737-800 aircraft, VT-JGM, Flight 9W-2302 from Mumbai to Chennai believed he had an engine fire while taxing to the active runway. The passengers were evacuated. An investigation was performed by the DGCA they determined there was neither smoke nor actual fire in the incident.



DGCA further determined the pilot made the wrong decision to carry out evacuation for non-real emergency situation which led serious injuries to passengers, non-awareness of the effect of anti-collision light by the ACMs, cabin crew and CCIC, over reacted ACMs and absence of company policy on ACM role in the flight, failure of CCIC to play her role in evacuation, incorrect usage of non-required exit for evacuation, lack of training on over-wing exit evacuation, wrong door guarding procedure and lack of situational awareness and crew coordination of the cockpit crew. 

A spokesperson for the DGCA Director General, Prabhat Kumar reported they have requested from the airlines a complete training list of all airline cabin crews and will consider what actions to take against those carriers that are not in compliance. In addition the spokesperson indicated Air India has sent them a update on the 102 pilots and said "It will be examined soon and the future course of action decided accordingly." 

Back in January, the FAA announced that India was assigned a Category 2 rating under its International Aviation Safety Assessment (IASA) program, based on a reassessment of the country’s civil aviation authority which determined. India’s DGCA's civil aviation safety oversight does not comply with the international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). 

With a Category 2 rating, India’s carriers can continue existing service to the United States, but will not be allowed to establish new service to the United States. A Category 2 rating means a country either lacks laws or regulations necessary to oversee air carriers in accordance with minimum international standards, or that its civil aviation authority equivalent to the FAA for aviation safety matters is deficient in one or more areas, such as technical expertise, trained personnel, record-keeping or inspection procedures.
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