56 Indian Airline Pilots Fail Alcohol Tests

The safety of several Indian airlines has come into question after investigators uncovered scores of extreme violations. Pilots from IndiGo and MDLR airlines were caught flying passengers with forged qualifications, and shortly thereafter a list emerged of 56 airline pilots who had failed sobriety tests in the past two years. The drunken pilots were employed by state-owned national carrier Air India, as well as privately owned Jet Airways, IndiGo, SpiceJet, GoAir and Kingfisher airlines. In many cases, the offending pilots were only subject to reductions in pay or temporary suspensions, but 10 pilots lost their jobs over the offense. India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation recently issued new regulations that stipulate a three-month suspension for pilots who come to work intoxicated and a loss of license for repeat offenders. Since the new regulations came into effect in December 2010, no new cases have been uncovered.

Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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