Missing flights makes DGCA issue stringent guidelines

Mumbai/New Delhi: After two flights from India went 'missing' in international airspace, the DGCA has issued stringent guidelines to ensure cockpit discipline for crew of all airlines in the country, official sources said on Friday.The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has stipulated that the emergency frequency of 121.5 MHz must always be monitored along with speaker volumes in the cockpit to be maintained at an appropriate level and not lowered or switched off.The headset shall not be worn by non-resting crew when the other crew is in controlled rest. Before going into controlled rest, the Cabin Crew In Charge (CCIC) should be informed, the guideline stipulates.

After the first 20 minutes of the controlled rest, the non-resting pilot, or the CCIC, must establish contact with each other, and after 40 minutes the CCIC will contact the non-resting pilot, provided normal contact was made after the first 20 minutes, the DGCA said.Henceforth, all airlines have been ordered to maintain a log for the controlled rest available by the crew and the DGCA would make random checks on the same.The DGCA also plans to carry out random checks of Cockpit Voice Recorders (CVR) to ensure airlines comply with its Operations Circular 08-2013.An Air India Ahmedabad-London-Newark flight with 249 passengers lost contact with local ATC over Hungary and was escorted by fighter jets safely to its onward journey on March 10.Earlier, a Jet Airways Mumbai-London flight with 345 passengers lost contact with ATC over German airspace and fighter jets escorted it on its journey on February 19.Both flights had reportedly gone 'missing' for brief periods ostensibly due to frequency fluctuations.