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Jet Airways ordered to suspend pilots after mid-air dive Airline launches own probe into the incident

NEW DELHI, Aug 14, (AFP): India’s civil aviation regulator said Thursday it has ordered Jet Airways to suspend two pilots after a flight to Brussels dived 5,000 feet, forcing air traffic controllers to issue an emergency warning. The Times of India said the captain was on a scheduled rest break when the plane dropped almost 5,000 feet (1,500 metres) over Turkey, putting it at an altitude assigned to another aircraft. Air traffic controllers in Ankara had to issue an emergency warning to the co-pilot on duty, who the paper said “did not notice that the aircraft had lost altitude” because she was using her tablet computer at the time.

The Director General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) said it had summoned the captain and co-pilot for questioning over what it called a “serious incident” during the flight from Mumbai to Brussels last Friday. “Both the pilots have been taken off the roster pending inquiry,” said the regulator in a statement. “Additionally, the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) has been asked to conduct a detailed investigation into the incident.” The airline said it had launched its own investigation. “Safety is of paramount importance to Jet Airways, as is also the welfare of our guests and crew,” it said in a statement. Jet Airways, in which Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways has a 24 percent stake, is India’s secondbiggest carrier.

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