The Directorate General of Civil Aviation is conducting an inquiry against a Jet Airways pilot accused of slapping a woman commander mid-air and then leaving the cockpit unmanned on a London-Mumbai flight on Monday.
The incident took place on a Boeing 777 (flight 9W 119) when it was about an hour from touchdown in Mumbai. According to reports, the woman commander walked out of the cockpit in tears after she was slapped by her colleague (also a senior pilot) after an argument. The co-pilot, too, walked out of the cockpit, leaving it unattended, and tried to drag her back. The cabin crew intervened and persuaded the woman commander to return to the cockpit.
The cabin crew in-charge reported the matter to the airline's inflight safety department, which in turn alerted the DGCA. Both the pilots have been de-rostered by the airline and the DGCA has suspended the licence of the co-pilot.
“The pilot will face inquiry on charges of violating Rule 21 A of Aircraft Rules, 1937, which states that no person shall act in any manner so as to endanger the safety of and security of an aircraft or aircraft operation,” an official said.
A Jet Airways spokesperson said, “A misunderstanding occurred between the cockpit crew of Jet Airways flight 9W 119, London-Mumbai, of January 1, 2018. However, the same was quickly resolved amicably and the flight with 324 guests, including 2 infants and 14 crew, continued its journey to Mumbai, landing safely. The airline has reported the matter to the DGCA and the concerned crew have been taken off flying duties pending investigation, which has since been initiated.
At Jet Airways, safety of guests, crew and assets is of paramount importance and the airline has zero tolerance for any action of its employees that compromises safety.”
A PTI report said these two senior pilots have been flying together for many years and have had arguments in the past as well. But on Monday flight, an argument turned violent and he slapped her, after which she came out of the cabin crying, the source alleged.