The co-pilot of an Air India Express 737 sent the jetliner into a terrifying 7,000-foot plunge in May when he accidentally hit the control column while adjusting his seat, investigators report.
According to the report from Indiaâ€™s Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the co-pilot panicked and was unable to execute the proper procedures as the jetliner dropped from 37,000 feet at a 26-degree angle. The plane and its 113 passengers were saved when the pilot, whoâ€™d gone on a bathroom break, used an emergency code to get into the locked cockpit, jumped back into his seat and grabbed the controls to bring the plummeting plane out of its dive.
The aircraft would have broken apart if the descent had continued, the aviation agency report said. The aircraft was not damaged and no one was injured, the report said.
After the pilot, 39, regained control of the plane, he told passengers, who were in the middle of a meal when the jet plunged, that the plane had â€śwent through an air pocket and that is why there was a rapid descent,â€ť according to the report.
The aviation agency report concluded that the 25-year-old co-pilot had not been trained in the specific scenario the jet encountered and â€śprobably had no clue to tackle this kind of emergency.â€ť
Neither the pilot nor co-pilot were named in the report.
The Air India Express flight was en route from Dubai to Pune, India, on May 25 when the incident occurred.
Unbelievable. If he did not know how to "handle" the situation, how come he was continously pushing the control column forward while the Captain was pulling in the opposite direction? Even instinctively, ANY pilot knows that to come out of a dive, one needs to pull back on the control column. The whole thing has nothing to do with training or experience.
At that speed pulling back on the stick would have torn off the wings. He would need to decrease his vertical and forward speed – cut throttle to idle then level off. That takes training. Even when I did my PPL we did stall scenarios and getting out of dives multiple times. A smaller plane is easier to level off. The larger ones have more thrust and weight, consequently there are more variables to think about.
"Had not been trained for the specific scenario". OK if he wasn't trained for a rapid descent, what was he trained for? Grabbing a six pack and pulling the emergency door chute? Good grief!
He was probably rubbing one off
Wait... why is this being told now if it happened on May 25th and it's almost 2011? Did I miss something? : /
The report was just released.
Reading the story, I just had an image of full dinner service and a sudden 7,000 feet drop at a 26 degree angle. People would have been covered in food and drink.
It's amazing how everybody's an expert because they once played a computer game that was kinda like flying a passenger jet. Didn't realize you could get type-rated by Microsoft...
In CNN's defense, this is "breaking news" because the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation just issued the report. (Much like it takes the FAA months to issue a report on an airplane crash in the U.S.)
Nowhere does CNN state that the sharp descent was actually caused by the copilot adjusting his seat. They are simply stating that the report SAYS...blah blah blah.
" The copilot of an Air India Express...INVESTIGATORS REPORT."
"ACCORDING TO THE REPORT FROM INDIA'S DIRECTORATE GENERAL OF CIVIL AVIATION..."
(Caps are mine, for emphasis.)
This is responsible, accurate, objective journalism. CNN is accurately stating the facts - Indian officials did issue such a report recently.
CNN is also phrasing the story in such a way that an intelligent reader can surmise that either the report is inaccurate, or the officials are covering up for something. In fact, the way the CNN news report is worded, casts doubt on the accuracy of the DGCA report.
@Susan ...Or they are making a story larger than it really was for entertainment purposes. Remember the press is in the business to collect readership and sell advertising.
Pilotguy nailed it. Thanks for the CNN-planted cheerleading, though.
Susan, see the wsj report
Wait, they still get meals on Indian flights?
yep, lambs head....raw. dont forget the rice
I wonder of the co-pilot was kin to the bare foot bandit? He may have just jumped in and took the plan for a "joy ride"
Face it â€“ life is cheap in India â€“ I have spent many years there training people â€“ It is a joke.
The reason the co-pilot was unable to recover the plane from its fall is because he was busy answering an incoming call from for Citibankâ€™s call center.
Q- "Surley you cant be serious?....."
A- "I am serious, and dont call me Shirley"
Something fishy here. Even a private pilot would just pull up. Duh! I suspect not paying attention and maybe stalled it. Once in a stall, then maybe a few thousand feet to recover.
Reduce power then pull back. Student pilots are taught and tested on this maneuver. Something in this story doesn't make sense. I'm guessing it is the author.
Captions are wrong on the article's picture, instead of "when co-pilot used emergency code to get back" it should read "when pilot used." Just thought I should point that out
Well spotted. Let's hope the author spots your comment.
...that the plane had â€śwent through an air pocket and that is why there was a rapid descent,â€ť according to the report.
ATTN: CNN writer "had went" is not proper grammar.
"went" is part of a quotation . Take an english class.
Indians should use a flight manual they give co-polits on Alaska – feed the dogs and do not touch anything!