Indian low-cost airline, SpiceJet had to suspend its pilots for behaving foolishly during their coffee break mid-flight.
SpiceJet Pilots Under Fire With Their Actions During Flight
On March 8, 2023, SpiceJet pilots operating from Delhi(DEL) to Guwahati(GAU) posted what seems to be a ‘coffee break’ during the flight. The picture was posted by one of the pilots and well, it seems it is a normal break time midflight celebrating the Holi festival.
The picture shows both pilots enjoying a gujiya, a traditional Indian dessert for the Holi festival. However, the problem was raised when one of the pilot’s coffee was placed right under the thrust levers.
Based on the flight management system(FMS), the aircraft was cruising at 37,000 ft flying over 600 mph. Now, aside from the snack, the real problem was the cup of coffee that was not even covered with a lid.
Under Indian Aviation rules, it is clearly stated that pilots and cabin crew members can have food and beverages inside the cockpit but with certain conditions: All cups must have lids and the cabin crew is required to hold the cup in their hands instead of carrying it on a tray.
The pilots on this flight did not comply with both the airline and aviation laws here. Who knows what could happen next if the cup of coffee was accidentally hit and spilled all over the sensitive panels or surfaces? While fatal incidents due to spillage of drink will not likely happen, it could cause the aircraft to divert.
One example is there was an incident a few years ago where an Airbus A350 suffered an uncommanded in-flight engine shutdown after drinks were spilled.
SpiceJet Suspends Both Pilots For Their Actions
It did not come as a surprise as the picture went viral, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation(DGCA) ordered the airline to identify those pilots and launched an investigation. The spokesperson of SpiceJet said:
“Both pilots have been off rostered pending an inquiry. SpiceJet has a strict policy for consumption of food inside the cockpit which is adhered by all flight crew. Appropriate disciplinary action will be taken upon completion of the investigation.
As the investigation is underway, we do not know what kind of disciplinary actions both pilots will receive since this not only pulled down the company’s image but pose a safety risk for passengers and crew members.
India’s third-largest airline with 250 routes, SpiceJet is yet not best known for its safety. Based on a report, there were 15 air safety incidents within 10 months period due to technical issues to smoke in the cabin to this month’s safety risk.
A photo posted by a SpiceJet pilot got viral as the pilots were celebrating Holi with a snack and… a cup of coffee on top of the fight controls. Due to these unimaginable actions, both pilots are now suspended and Indian aviation authorities are investigating this issue.