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Jet Airways Plane Plunges 5,000 Feet Because Pilot Was Distracted by Tablet

Jet Airways passenger aircraft takes off from the airport in Ahmedabad in 2013. (Amit Dave/Reuters)

A potential incident was averted when a Jet Airways flight from Mumbai to Brussels dropped 5,000 feet in airspace while the pilot was “on rest.” The co-pilot, who was in charge, was reportedly busy on her tablet and claimed that she had no idea the plane had dropped in altitude.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has suspended the two Jet Airways pilots and initiated an investigation. 

The incident took place last Friday when the Boeing 777-300, operating flight 9W-228 from Mumbai to Brussels and onward to Newark, plunged from 34,000 feet to 29,000 feet while traveling on the busy air route to Europe, reported the Hindustan Times.

Both pilots were summoned by the DGCA for questioning.

The DGCA has also set up a three-member team to review the airline’s flight training program and facilities following the incident, the official sources said, adding that the team is expected to submit their report by August 31.

It has also asked the airline to come forward with all related reports, as well as the records of the Digital Flight Data Recorder (DFDR) within this week, they said.

Confirming the incident, an airline spokesperson said that Jet Airways has initiated an internal inquiry into the matter.

“The airline is also extending all co-operation in the matter to the DGCA by providing all necessary assistance for the inquiry. Safety is of paramount importance to Jet Airways as is also the welfare of our guests and crew and the airline will always take appropriate steps to ensure the same,” the spokesperson said.