New Delhi/Kochi: 

National passenger carrier’s low cost international subsidiary Air India Express has been recommended not to pair pilots and co-pilots with a significant age difference.

The advice was made to the airline in a probe report of a 2017 incident when an aircraft’s landing gear got stuck in an open rainwater drain after landing at the Kochi airport.

The aircraft had landed in heavy rain and low visibility conditions.

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“Both PIC (pilot in command) and co-pilot were operating first time together. The PIC was based in Delhi and co-pilot at Cochin by the Air India Express. There was a gap of over 30 years and difference of 13,000 hours in cockpit crew and the coordination was lacking from PIC side,” the report said.

According to the report, the co-pilot, who was 30 years younger to the aircraft’s commander had brought the low visibility conditions to his notice.

“After landing, co-pilot requested PIC who was at controls, to go slow as runway markings were not visible and call for ‘Follow Me’ jeep. However, there was no response rom PIC. PIC applied throttle three times for aircraft to come out of the drain, but aircraft remained stuck in the drain. The co-pilot requested PIC not to apply the throttle,” the report said.

The report recommended that Air India Express would ensure proper crew pairing taking into consideration age factor, experience and that it may issue a circular about proper crew coordination.