Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spicejet on occasion of Holi, entertained and surprised  passengers of six of their flights by doing a Bollywood number " Balam Pitchkari" in cruising aircraft. Many passengers recorded this unique first time event in Indian skies and posted it on You Tube. DGCA immedietally took action by issuing Show cause Notice to Spice Jet and Suspending two Pilots of Mumbai-Goa Flight-Reason one Pilot had come out of Cockpit and was cought on camera clicking photos.
   This action of DGCA is surprising, more so as it is taken on the grounds of Safety of the Aircraft and Passengers. Spice Jet has replied that it had posted more Cabin Crew in view of this dance. Clearly DGCA instead of just accepting this novel way of celebrations with wry smile, is weilding lathi where there is no offence and aircraft was never in danger.
  Such dances are carried out in European and other airlines. Finnair did Bollywood dance jig in its flight on 26 January celebrating India's Republic Day.( Watch). One fails to understand DGCA's objections. Rather one doubts DGCA's ability to understand safety issues in this case.
  DGCA has objected to a Pilot being out of Cockpit and Clicking photos of the event. Now everyone knows that when Plane is in Cruising mode ( Almost always on Auto Pilot), Pilots can take their meals, One Pilot can come out to go to Loo. Pilots routinely come out if a passenger is misbehaving or too drunk and disorderly. They come and meet Politicians and Film stars. All this can be done provided at least one Pilot is in the Cockpit. So in Spicejet case where the safety of aircraft was compromised ?. Only one Pilot had come out and when he saw the dance clicked few photos before going back to Cockpit.
  DGCA has objected that atleast 25 Mobiles wore on and they were recording the event. DGCA rule is that Mobile should be switched off  when Plane is flying. This raises doubt about DGCA's technical awareness. Now it is proved that Mobile Phone communication does not interfere in Planes Navigation or Communication system. All airlines allow use of Electronics during flight. USA has passed law banning Moblile call during flight, to Protect other passengers privacy and right to quite peaceful flight and not for Safety. If Smartphone is in 'Airplane/Flight' Mode, all  wireless communication are shut off and passengers can use other functions,like taking Photos,Playing Games,Listening to Music etc.Crew,Pilots and Passengers would be more concerned about Plane's safety than DGCA. It is their lives  at stake.
  More absurd was the charge that  as many passengers joined the dance and this could have resulted in shifting of plane's Centre of  Gravity affecting stability. If this were the case then passengers queuing up for Toilets and together with crew and Food Carts at Tail section of the plane would have destabilised most of the planes in flight!

Mistake Spice Jet committed was that It did not inform and take permission of DGCA. To carry out this reveller y in air without informing DGCA is the crime. It's game of 'Protecting the Turf', No safety issue is involved.--PK