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Filed under: Latest News — admin     5:20 pm February 28, 2011

CHENNAI: The Directorate-General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has revoked a woman pilot’s licence alleging that she used forged papers to get her airline transport pilot licence (ATPL), which is mandatory for an aircraft captain.

On January 11, Indigo pilot Captain Parminder Kaur Gulati made a rough landing at Goa airport. When the plane flew back to Delhi, its nose wheel developed a snag. Investigations faulted Gulati’s landing technique. She used the nose wheel to touch down instead of using the rear landing gear. She was grounded. Further investigations showed that she had used the wrong technique several times.

“We have revoked her licence. The pilot seems to have obtained an ATPL by submitting forged documents. We are going to file a police complaint,” director-general of civil aviation Bharat Bhushan said. The DGCA is probing how she got her ATPL after having failed the examination seven times.

Pilots aspiring to become captains must log 1,500 flying hours and pass an examination that comprises papers in navigation, metrology and radio aids. While metrology is an oral test, the other two have written and oral components.

Pilots have to submit the log of flying hours, medical certificate and other documents to apply for ATPL, a tough examination conducted by the DGCA once in three months.

Bharat Bhushan said the airline could not be faulted for employing the pilot since she had an ATPL licence.
Asked what the airline was planning to do to prevent such incidents, Indigo Airlines president Aditya Ghosh said, “As an airline, we completely rely on DGCA. We will follow any instruction from the regulator.”

Sources said touts in Delhi often help pilots speed up the process of getting a licence. “We are not sure if they still function as the DGCA has started to monitor the ATPL paperwork,” an official said. The regulatory authority is now checking if any agent helped Kaur get the licence.

A senior pilot said it was puzzling how Kaur managed to land on the nose wheel. “A flight comes in to land with its front tilted down but the pilot lifts the nose wheel as the aircraft is about to land to allow the rear wheel to touch down. The nose wheel is not designed to take the full load of an aircraft that comes in to land,” he said.

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