An air traffic controller (ATC) and two Air India pilots were suspended by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) after an Air India Boeing hit a light pole in Mumbai airport Tuesday, causing a two-and-a-half-hour delay to the flight.
The Boeing 777-300ER hit a light pole as it was about to take off from the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport Tuesday. No damage was caused to the plane, but it had 447 passengers on board, which made the authorities take action.
The pilots accused the air traffic control (ATC) officer since a bigger taxiway was not assigned to the Boeing, but they were reprimanded by the DGCA for not asking for a bigger taxiway.
"Even if the ATC assigns a wrong taxiway, a seasoned pilot should stop the aircraft if he or she feels taxi clearance is not available," a senior DGCA official told Hindustan Times.
The government-owned airline confirmed the incident.
This is not the first time an Air India pilot was pulled up for a mishap. In December 2015, an engineer was sucked into the engine of an Air India flight as it was preparing to take off from Mumbai airport. Ravi Subramanian, the technician, was pulled into the powerful engine and died instantly. It took hours to extricate his mutilated and mangled remains from the engine. The pilot and co-pilot of the flight had been taken off the roster, reports The Indian Express.
Air India declared Rs 5 lakh compensation and a job with the airlines for a family member of the victim.