Two Jet Airways pilots have been suspended after the male commander slapped his female co-pilot in during a fight on a London-Mumbai flight. The two even left the cockpit unmanned for a brief period of time, said sources.

Sources said the woman came out sobbing. The commander kept calling on the buzzer, asking the crew members to send her in. Leaving the cockpit unmanned is a major safety hazard

Indian norms say there must be at least two people in the cockpit at any given time in the flight. “It requires at least 45 seconds to punch in the code on the door to enter the cockpit, which is too less if an autopilot gets disengaged. Also, what if the door lock got jammed, the plane would have been flying without anyone in the cockpit,” said the source.

The female pilot refused to return to the cockpit and the cabin crew had to persuade her to return.

The DCGA has ordered a probe. It has suspended both pilots’ licences till the probe is complete. A Jet spokesperson said it a misunderstanding between the pilots, which was amicably sorted.

The flight, which had 324 guests on boards, landed safely in Mumbai. “At Jet Airways, safety of guests, crew and assets is of paramount importance and the airline has zero tolerance for any action of its employees that compromises safety,” the spokesperson said.

Other altercations on flights

There have been many stories of things going awry on flights last year.

Last year, a 28-year-old Indian groped a 16-year-old girl on a United flight from Seattle to Newark. The girl was sleeping, and woke up to find passenger Vijakumar Krishnappa’s hand on her thigh. The FBI has managed to track down Krishnappa, who is a doctor from India. The police arrested him, but he was released after he paid $50,000 as bail.

Last year, a man from Southern California said that he and his family were thrown out of a Delta flight after they refused to give up a seat they had bought for their teenage son, and which they wanted to use for their 2-year-old son instead.

Also Read: Flight Crew Helps Woman Deliver Premature Baby In Mid-Air

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