Jet Airways had made headlines again for all the wrong reasons as on one of their flights from London to Mumbai a male First Office assaulted the female Captain during the flight.
The Captain then fled the cockpit TWICE seeking refuge with the cabin crew, the second time the First Officer also left the flight deck leaving nobody (except the Auto Pilot) in control.
The two pilots who have since been suspended pending investigation were in charge of flight 9W 119 on New Years Day, January 1st from London to Mumbai. The flight was carrying 324 passengers and 14 crew when the incident took place.
The Times of India (access their article here) reported about the incident and that the case has been handed over to the Indian authorities as well.
Jet Airways has grounded two of its senior commanders for fighting inside the cockpit of a London-Mumbai flight on January 1. The commander flying as co-pilot allegedly slapped the lady commander mid-flight after which she left the cockpit in tears.
After great persuation, the lady pilot went back to the cockpit but reportedly came out in a huff shortly afterwards. This time, a frightened cabin crew, fearing for everyone’s safety, requested her to go back to the controls and operate the flight to its destination. Luckily, the plane landed safely.
This unprecedented cockpit fight happened on 9W 119 soon after Jet’s Boeing 777 took off for its 9-hour journey to Mumbai with 324 passengers and 14 crew members on board on New Year’s Day at 10am (UK time).
Both the pilots of this flight were commanders and the lady was captaining 9W 119 while the other was the co-pilot for this sector.
“Shortly after the plane took off, the two pilots had a fight. The co-pilot slapped the lady commander and she left the cockpit in tears. She stood in the galley sobbing. The cabin crew tried to comfort her and send her back to the cockpit, but in vain. The co-pilot also kept buzzing (calling from the intercom in the cockpit) the crew, asking them to send the second pilot back,” said sources.
When the cabin crew could not do so, the co-pilot reportedly came out of the cockpit — leaving the cockpit unmanned in gross violation of safety rules — and persuaded the commander to return with him to the controls.
According to the article the authorities have suspended the flight license of the offender (co-pilot) and proceedings are underway in the matter.
As if this incident isn’t shocking enough there is this statement from the company:
Confirming this fight, a Jet Airways spokesman said: “A misunderstanding occurred between the cockpit crew of Jet Airways flight 9W 119, London – Mumbai of January 01, 2018. However, the same was quickly resolved amicably and the flight with 324 guests including 2 infants and 14 crew continued its journey to Mumbai, landing safely.
A misunderstanding that was resolved amicably? Attacking your co-worker while being at the controls of a flight can hardly be called a misunderstanding. I highly doubt this situation was solved amicably after the captain fled the violent First Officer twice.
Having such a situation happening is one thing, bad enough. Then having the company come out and say the entire episode was just a ‘misunderstanding’ tells you all you need to know about the corporate culture and workplace environment. I wouldn’t be surprised if the two pilots will be let go not because of what happened in the air but for embarrassing the company.
What is the Captain supposed to do, sit there and take the beating? Especially in light of pilot suicide cases such as the Germanwings flight that crashed after the First Officer locked the pilot out of the door and then steered the plane into the ground. Either way, the guy belongs in prison.