Yesterday we had reported how two Air India pilots had got into a fight on Delhi-Jaipur flight. It was reported that the Air India co-pilot had taken offence when the captain of the flight had asked him to take down from critical readings for the flight and one thing had led to another, ending with the junior punching his senior. Both pilots were subsequently derostered. Air India had denied that any fighting had taken place. So what caused the co-pilot to lose his cool so suddenly and over what seems like an innocuous request from a senior? Well, according to an NDTV report , the senior captain had called his co-pilot ‘uncle’ while addressing him and this wasn’t taken too kindly by the latter.
The report on NDTV notes, ” the argument started after the captain reportedly addressed his deputy as ‘uncle'”.
While fighting over the use of the term uncle might sound funny, let’s not forget that these pilots are responsible for the safety of their passengers and if they’re not in sync with each other, it’s not very reassuring.
Sadly this fight over ‘uncle kisko bola’ pales in comparison to a 2009 story when Air India’s crew got into a full-fledged fist-fight 30,000 feet above sea-level. Times of India had reported then that two members of the cabin crew, a male and a female, fought with the captain and the co-pilot on a Sharjah to Delhi flight.
While the female colleague alleged that the pilot had harassed her and even filed a molestation complaint later on, the pilots said that the male flight purser had compromised flight safety and that the molestation charge was a made-up one.
While Air India has taken action against the two pilots in the latest incident, the minor reason for the struggle makes you wonder how efficient Air India’s crew is when it comes to dealing with internal disagreements. And from the history of the airline, things haven’t improved much.