Jet pilot was asleep, co-pilot was on iPad, both suspended


While the plane they were flying plunged 5,000 feet, a Jet Airways pilot was asleep and the co-pilot was busy on an iPad checking out flight information. Both have been suspended by aviation regulator DGCA which is now investigating the incident.

280 passengers were on the flight from Mumbai to Newark via Brussels when it fell from 34,000 feet to 29,000 feet, according to the Press Trust of India.

A spokesperson for Jet, however, told that the descent was of about 2,000 feet. While the plane was in Turkish airspace, Air Traffic Controllers noted the descent and sent an emergency message to the aircraft ordering it to climb back up. The co-pilot then woke up the commander.

Both pilots were summoned by the DGCA yesterday for questioning. While the commander said he was on “controlled rest”, a short nap inside the cockpit which is allowed by flight operation procedures, the co-pilot testified that she was working on her iPad which had  aircraft documents loaded on to it, said unnamed sources to the Press Trust of India.

Confirming the incident, an airline spokesperson said Jet Airways has initiated an internal inquiry into the matter.