Indian airline fined for having officer land passenger flight without getting simulator training

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An Indian airline has been fined for violating safety regulations after a co-pilot landed a passenger aircraft in the state of Madhya Pradesh under the supervision of an improperly trained captain in August 2021.

Vistara Airlines, an Indian joint venture of Tata Group and Singapore Airlines, was fined Rs 1,000,000 (£10,248) by India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for “serious violation” and endangering lives of “everyone on board” the Airbus A320 flight.

The captain of the flight, which took off from New Delhi, had not undergone simulator training on how to guide a first officer during takeoffs and landings, an officer from the safety regulation body said.

“The aircraft landing was being conducted by the first officer, without either him or the captain being trained at the simulator,” a DGCA officer told The Hindu.

“This is a serious violation endangering the lives of the passengers on board and, therefore, a penalty of Rs 1,000,000 has been levied on the airline.”

The security lapse was reportedly detected during the landing in Indore city. However, the plane landed safely and no one was hurt.

First officers are required to be trained in simulators before being allowed to land a passenger aircraft. Similarly, a captain is also trained in a simulator before they are granted permission to provide landing instructions to a first officer.

The airline, in a statement, said: “A supervised take off and landing (STOL) was conducted on a flight to Indore in August 2021 under the supervision of an experienced captain. The pilots were adequately trained and in possession of valid STOL certificates issued by their previous employer.

“Vistara voluntarily reported to regulatory authorities that the same training which was to be conducted again, in line with regulatory requirements, was missed, leading to the regrettable violation.”

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