Indigo fined Rs 30 lakh: This year the company’s planes had tail strikes 4 times, DGCA had conducted a special audit

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) on Friday imposed a fine of Rs 30 lakh on Indigo. The fine has been imposed on the airline for the lapses that resulted in four tail strikes on its Airbus A321 aircraft within six months. DGCA Chief Vikram Dev Dutt had ordered a special audit.

The special audit reviewed the documentation and procedures of the airline’s operations, training, engineering and flight data management programs. Aviation regulator DGCA said the audit revealed some systemic deficiencies in documentation relating to operations, training procedures and engineering procedures. After this, DGCA issued a show cause notice to Indigo.

The aviation regulator said- the airline’s reply was reviewed at various levels and was not found satisfactory. Subsequently, we have imposed a fine of Rs 30 lakh on Indigo. They have also been directed to amend their documents and procedures in line with the guidelines of DGCA and Original Equipment Manufacturers.

What is tail strike?
When the tail of the aircraft hits the ground or any other fixed object during take-off or landing, it is called tail strike. According to aviation website Skybrary, most tail strikes occur during landing. Tail strikes are often caused by human error. However, environmental factors such as strong winds may be responsible for this.

Eight tail strikes in a year
Since last April, IndiGo has witnessed at least eight tail strikes on its A321s. On July 26, the aviation regulator had canceled the license of a pilot-in-command and a co-pilot due to an incident of tail strike. This incident of tail strike took place on 15 June 2023 during the landing of A321 (VT-IMW) at Ahmedabad.

The pilot-in-command’s license was suspended
for three months while the co-pilot’s license was suspended for one month. The regulator issued a show cause notice to the pilots over the incident and found the crew in breach of rules. A senior DGCA official had said, “DGCA’s investigation has revealed that the crew landed in violation of SOP (Standard Operating Procedures).”

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