Now call the pilot-in-command in the plane ‘Sir’ not ‘Captain’, know why Air India Express issued this instruction

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Table of Contents

Highlights

  • Air India Express issued operation circular on Saturday
  • Trichy accident mentioned in October 2018 regarding decision
  • The lack of coordination between the pilots was cited in the accident

Mumbai
Air India Express has directed its First Officers to address the pilot-in-command not as ‘Sir’, but by his first name or simply as “Captain”. An operation circular in this regard was issued on Friday. The circular mentions the Trichy accident in October 2018. In this accident, an Air India Express plane hit the ground from the rear. This plane also broke the boundary wall of the airport before taking off for Dubai.

The final investigation report of the accident was released by the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau last month. According to this, there was a sudden and unexpected tilt of the commander’s seat during the trigger take-off roll. As the seat reclined, the commander inadvertently pulled back the thrust lever. This reduced the power of the engines. The report said that both the pilots did not record the fall in thrust. Instead, corrective action was taken. The report said that it was due to lack of coordination and communication failure among the crew.

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It is proposed to improve the Cockpit Resource Management (CRM), said Air India’s circular, calling the pilot-in-command by his first name or Captain. CRM also includes a multi-crew cockpit communication process. It recognized the need for an informal atmosphere in the cockpit. It may be a generation and culture shift and it may take time for the results to come.

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Air safety expert Captain Amit Singh said that in Indian culture, it is generally not considered good to call a senior by his first name. Especially in organizations like Air India Express. A 55-year-old ex-Indian Air Force commander would not like a 25-year-old co-pilot to call him by his first name. This is a big change but calling the PIC ‘Captain’ would work. For this the culture of the entire organization has to be changed.

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