The male pilot and female co-pilot of Jet Airways flight 9W 119 from London to Mumbai got into a fight on New Years Day. He slapped her. She reportedly left the cockpit ‘sobbing’. He repeatedly called crew asking them to send her back. And then things got worse,
“After a while, the commander came out of the cockpit, leaving it unmanned and the plane on autopilot, which is a major safety hazard,” said a source, who is not authorised to speak to the media.
…The commander, however, came and persuaded the co-pilot to get back. But she came out of the cockpit again in an emotional state, added the source. Cabin crew managed to persuade her again to return to the cockpit.
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The plane had 324 passengers and 14 crewm onboard. Jet Airways confirms the ‘misunderstanding’ in the cockpit and according to India’s Director General of Civil Aviation, the female co-pilot’s license has been suspended, and according to the airline “concerned crew ha[ve] been taken off flying duties” pending investigation.
DGCA has taken the incident seriously and ordered an investigation. “We have ordered an investigation and pending that, the DGCA has suspended the privileges of the (female) co-pilot’s licence,” BS Bhullar, director general of civil aviation, told ET.
Usually it’s Air India pilots behaving badly not Jet Airways cockpit crew.
And lest anyone think ‘this could only happen with an Indian airline’ remember that United Express scrubbed a flight after its two pilots got into a fight. It’s common enough that there’s even a ‘do not pair’ procedure for pilots who can’t get along.
Pilots behave badly in other ways, too, like when United had to cancel a flight because two pilots showed up drunk to fly. In fact United pilots have been arrested for pimping and for botching the castration of a transgender woman.