gfiles magazine

February 9, 2011

Safety handed over to accident-prone pilot
 INTRIGUING are the ways of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), when it comes to picking the overseers of safety aspects. Take the case of Capt A Ranganathan, who has been made a member of the Civil Aviation Safety Advisory Council (CASAC). The pilot has had to leave several airlines, including Indian Airlines and Spicejet, because of safety-related incidents. The RTI has been resorted to for information about a 2006 air accident when he was with Spicejet. He reportedly shut down a perfectly good engine, suspecting a fuel leak, and made an emergency landing. Spicejet, in its report on December 1, 2006, maintained that there was fuel imbalance in the number 2 tank of flight SG 107 with registration number VT-SPD. The pilot report stated, “Central fuel tank was used for departure. No 2 engine shut down and single engine landing carried out.” Before this, in the 1980s when Capt Ranganathan was with IA, he had been at the controls of an Avro 748 and approaching Coimbatore for landing. He is reported to have hit a boulder and went round and landed when the visibility was below normal and the runway surface was wet.

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