In a bizarre case of negligence of passenger safety, a Jaipur-bound Jet Airways flight from Mumbai had to return to its origin midway after pilots forgot to turn on the “bleed” switch that maintains the right cabin pressure. The negligence caused 30 passengers to ear and nose-bleed while others complained of headache. Flight 9W 697 had 166 passengers and five crew on board.
“The pilots have been suspended and the crew has been taken off duty till the time the investigation is not over,” said a senior official familiar with the development.
Aviation regulator, Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), said that it has ordered an investigation and the Aviation Accident Investigation Bureau is probing the matter to understand what went wrong. “During climb, the crew forgot to select a bleed switch due to which cabin pressurisation could not be maintained,” a DGCA official told a news agency.
While Jet Airways did not respond to the email sent by Fortune India, it did however, issue an apology on Twitter and said that the aircraft landed in Mumbai “normally”.
“Jet Airways flight 9W 697 Mumbai to Jaipur of 20th September 2018, made an air turn back due to loss in cabin pressure…All guests were deplaned safely and taken to the terminal. First aid was administered to few guests who complained of ear pain, bleeding nose etc.”
It added, “The flight’s cockpit crew has been taken off scheduled duties pending investigation. The airline is making alternative flight arrangements for guests on this flight. Jet Airways regrets the inconvenience caused to its guests.”
It should be noted that loss of cabin pressure is a serious emergency condition for an aircraft that is flying at an altitude of 30,000 ft. The latest incident of negligence of passenger safety further dents the carrier’s brand image especially at a time when it is working on a turnaround plan.