Is Air Asia Safe to travel…?
I’m Questioning This because I came across A video on YouTube from a vlogger named Flying beast with around 3M followers.
I’ll get link of his channel and the video down bellow.
About The Vlogger
His name is Gaurav Taneja. He was the pilot and captain with Indigo Airlines, switched to Air Asia about an Year back. Type rated for A320.
He has a lovely wife named Ritu and a cute little daughter Rashi, He also calls him Raspberry.
He has a lovely family with his mom and dad, and a very generous, kind and fun loving person.
I’ve been following his Vlog since years, and so called a role model on moral values he posses.
So I’ll Give the link to the video, Its In Hindi, I’ll Do my Best To describe It in full detail here.
The Link to the video
The Incident What Happened
He is from Kanpur, India, Completed Engineering from IIT Kharagpur in 2008.
He is into aviation ever since. 12 years now. He is more likely to stand up for right cause and loose everything than sit silently and watch the wrong being done.
His Airline career started in 2011, In April 2019 He moved to Air Asia from Indigo.
So when you move to a new place you see lot of things that’s happening wrong which those who are there from start ignore. The same thing happened with him. So here he’ll talk about 3 Important thing that he felt was wrong.
Sick Leave Policy
every employee gets a certain sick leave, so that it can be used when you get ill suddenly.
To make you understand this, You’ll have to 1st know how stressful is a pilots life and how it runs. 1st there is no festival leave to pilot, no sat/sun off. we can not meet friends because our leave are random not sat/sun when our friends are free. so this is stressful here as social life is ZERO.
Now Suppose on your schedule there was one sat sun off, but on Wednesday you fell sick. so you took leave on Wednesday. So The Employer will call you on Sunday for that because you took leave on Wednesday, So basically no Sick Leave. Every 25th of the month a pilot gets a roster, a schedule for the next month. So suppose he has a leave on 9th next month based on roster. so he planned something on that day. some friends B’day, or relatives marriage lots of stuff to plan. now he accidentally gets sick on 7th. or even some personal reason can happen like he has a small daughter, his wife is working, so he was unable to sleep whole night. so he is not fit to fly next morning.
But If he doesn’t go on 7th he’ll have to go on 9th. so why is that sick leave for. on 9th he has a relative wedding, if he doesn’t attend that its end of social life for him anyways, and pilots start to get depressed.
Air Asia Doesn’t keep standing pilots like in this scenario to save cost. And forces the pilots to work even when they are unwell, risking everyone’s life.
He bought this in the notice of higher authorities. He got a reply from chief of flight safety in airline. That whatever you are saying is correct but we cannot change this policy as this will directly impact our profit. They are making a profit at the cost of a tired pilot in the cockpit, If any emergency arises that pilot will not be able to make a decision.
after raising several questions, The Chief of flight safety asked to redo his medical again which was already valid for 1 year. so the questioned the DGCA and air-force (who certifies medical of pilots directly. Trust me he is one of the fittest person you’ll see.
and this email is coming from a person whose duty is to promote safety not profit.
“Sick and fatigue report in an airline business is a non punitive policy” is said by DGCA (Director General Of Civil Aviation in India) which is not being followed here.
When This pandemic was spreading no one in the airline was concerned about this. The pilots and cabin crew were at much higher risk, The DGCA issued guidelines for this for safe operations. But none of them was followed.
Before each Flight the captain accepts a document saying that he is the pilot in command for that aircraft from that moment, you have been reported of every issues with the aircraft and checked personally every responsibility of this aircraft now lies with you, you are the sole decision maker. you accept this aircraft, The ICAO now invest the powers of this aircraft to the Pilot in Command.
because everything happens after that, any inconvenience to any passenger or other life around is the responsibility of the captain.
On 23rd march 2020 he has to delay his flight for 40 min, because he was not handed over the aircraft. and he denied to take charge of the aircraft without the paper work. because there can be some fault with the aircraft which he might not be aware of.
He reported this to airline with DGCA circular no. that this procedure has to be followed, but no one responded.
Next day he decided to skip his flight until resolution comes. His salary was not more Important than the passenger safety.
Every time FAA downgrades Indian aviation safety for these reasons.
Its been a track record that after every accident the pilot is the skate board that he is the culprit. no one seeks clarification from the airline. even the airline doesn’t support pilot that time. without inquiry the pilot is grounded first.
So he was charged with lots of admin issues that because of him company is suffering losses. he replied to all those mails with all the proofs. which he is yet to receive a reply.
Its a Technical Issue (Fuel Saving on Flap 3 landing)
yes you heard it right. flap 3 landing. yes airbus a320 is certified to land safely in flap 3 as well. but there are certain conditions to be met for flap 3 landing. you save approximate 8kg fuel every landing on flap 3 setup. its not a big number per flight. now in march it was told that he did 71% flap 3 landing wheres airlines policy is to do 98% of landing flap 3. Firstly that should be the captains decision, It cannot be forced by the airline. you can appreciate whatever flap 3 landing you get, but there is no reason to question flap 4 landing so in march he did only 10 landing. so how was airline expecting to achieve 98% it should be 10/10 landing in flap 3.
now there are human factors here, many time you have a flight very early in the morning, sometimes you take a flight around 12 midnight and land in the morning. and sometime you feel that you want an extra safety margin in your pocket as a pilot. but then you have that fear that you have to have 98% flap 3 landing, so no question of having safety margin. so in march his 3 landing was flap full out of 10.
now DGCA also tells that on some airfields flap 3 in dangerous, those with small runway and other factors.
out of those 10 landings. 2 was in Imphal India, with 3.5 degree Glide Slope you need that extra drag from flap to control airspeed. and the 3rd was in Bagdogra India, because it was a wet runway. so for safety he did flap full. but no one in the company wants to listen to this, they just knows he didn’t follow the SOP of flap 3 landing. On not achieving 98% flap 3 landing, the company demerits the pilots
he tweeted this on his twitter handler and the deputy chief pilot of the airline replied that there is no such policy, but then he shares screenshot of the mail he sent to him regarding this, then that deputy chief pilot has to take down his tweet.
So now there’s huge risk of Air Asia flight over shooting the runway or consistent hard landings
no other airline sets target for flap 3 like this. It impacts captains decision making towards safety where flap 3 landing is risky to achieve this target. and 7/10 landing flap 3 is not bad after all.
If on a dangerous airfield doing a flap 3 landing, if the captain messes up. will the airline take blame on them…? no they will blame the proficiency of the PIC (Pilot in Command)
He made a video that he might loose his job, to which the company replied that you should take down this video and apologize to us. but there was no reply to his original mail where he sent all those proofs. and it was a general video that due to covid-19 airlines are feeling stress. nothing about these issues.
he decided to stand up against this, even though he is alone, he has to feed his family, but he’ll not watch this happen and wait for an aircraft to crash and take lives. he wrote to DGCA about all this, awaiting reply. he has all the proofs. He knows no one will help him, company has big lawyers lots of money. but he has his truth for which he is fighting.
Please Lets Stand Up with him against this inhuman aviation policies