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HomemaharashtraDGCA suspends ops of flight training institute RedBird after two crash incidents...

DGCA suspends ops of flight training institute RedBird after two crash incidents in one week

Mumbai: Aviation regulator DGCA has suspended the operations of Redbird Flight Training Academy at all its bases following two incidents of crash landing in just one week, a senior official said on Monday.

The official said the incidents that happened at the institute’s Baramati facility in Maharashtra indicate a gap in maintenance and operational elements.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is also undertaking special maintenance audit and proficiency checks for the trainer/examiners of Redbird before allowing it to resume operations.

In one of the two crash landing incidents, the crew suffered minor injuries as well, as per the official.

The incidents happened on October 19 and October 22.

“During the last one week, Redbird Flight Training Academy’s aircraft have been involved in two occurrences leading to crash landing of the aircraft… these occurrences indicate a gap in maintenance and operational elements. DGCA has accordingly suspended the operations of Redbird Flight Training Academy at all their bases in the country,” the official said.

According to the official, in the first incident which took place on October 19, the single-engine Tecnam P2008JC aircraft bearing registration no VT-RBC took off from runway11 at Baramati with the sole occupant — CFI (Certified Flight Instructor) — on board.

During the initial climb at around 100 feet, the crew experienced an engine-related snag and loss of power. The crew decided to discontinue the sortie and crash-landed just outside the fence towards the north of the field.

This sortie was undertaken to assess the snag (abnormal noise and brake issue) observed in the previous sortie. However, the CFI did not notify/record the snag for appropriate action by the aircraft maintenance engineer, the official said, adding that due to impact, post-crash landing aircraft sustained substantial damage while the crew suffered minor injuries.

In the second incident involving the same type of aircraft that happened on October 22, while climbing to a cleared altitude of 2,500 feet, the aircraft experienced loss of power.

The official said the instructor discontinued the sortie and carried out the forced landing in a field at around two nautical miles from the airport. After impact, the aircraft turned upside down and there was damage to the landing gear, propeller, wings and fuselage but there were no injuries to any of the occupants.

This aircraft with two occupants, including an instructor and a trainee, was carrying out general flying training sortie at Baramati.

RedBird has a fleet of 30 aircraft. These include both single and twin-engine planes.

(Published 23 October 2023, 16:00 IST)

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