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Air India pilot turns up drunk for flight, grounded for three months

Air India pilot turns up drunk for flight, grounded for three months
An Air India pilot has been grounded for three months after he tested positive in the mandatory pre-flight alcohol test, minutes before operating a flight to Abu Dhabi from here.

The pilot was rostered to fly the Air India Express IX 115 Delhi to Abu Dhabi flight, which was scheduled for departure from Indira Gandhi International Airport at 8:50pm on Saturday.

"The pilot who was on deputation with AI Express tested positive in the pre-flight breath analyser (BA) test. Since this was the first time he has failed his test he has been grounded for three months," an Air India source said.

Rule 24 of the Aircraft Rules prohibits crew members from partaking any alcoholic drink, 12 hours prior to the commencement of a flight, and it is mandatory for him or her to undergo an alcohol test both before and after operating a flight. Any crew member who tests positive in the pre-flight medical check or refuses to take a breathlyser test is required to be taken off flying duty and his or her licence is suspended for three months.
In case of a repeat offence, the licence of the crew member is suspended for 3 years.

However, despite strict provisions, DGCA sources say pilots failing the breathlyser test is a common occurrence.

"We suspend anywhere between 1-4 pilots every month for this offence," a DGCA official said.
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