Air India’s Delhi-Bangkok Flight Returns as Co-pilot fails pre-flight Breath Analyser test

New Delhi, Nov 11 : Passengers were stranded at the Indira Gandhi International Airport after an Air India 332 Delhi -Bangkok flight was forced to return just 10-15 minutes after it took off as the flight’s co-pilot missed his pre-flight Breath Analyser (BA) Test.

Indian Commercial Pilots Association writes to Ministry of Civil Aviation to take action against Air India pilot Arvind Kathpalia, who was found positive in Breath Analyser (BA) Test and declared ‘not fit to fly’ today.

Air India senior pilot Arvind Kathpalia on Sunday has been grounded and the Air India Chief, Flight Safety said that the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has been informed to take necessary action against the Director (Operations).

Several passengers complained they were not given any explanation from the Air India after  the flight, AI-332, returned just 10-15 minutes after it took off from the Indira Gandhi International Airport , pilot H S Randhawa as well as the co-pilot, reportedly left from their duty and Air India officials were unable to give any answer to the passengers’ questions.

An Air India official said, “We have grounded Captain A K Kathpalia as he failed twice in the breath analyser test. He was to operate the London flight from New Delhi, but he failed to clear the pre-flight alcohol test.” The official added that he was given another chance, but the second test was also found positive following which he was grounded.

Under Rule 24 of the Aircraft Rules, crew members are prohibited from consuming any alcoholic drink 12 hours prior to the commencement of a flight, and it is further mandatory for them to undergo a pre-alcohol test both before and after operating a flight.


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