Air India pilot, crew suspended over mid-air 'distraction'
NEW DELHI (AFP) - State-run carrier Air India said on Saturday it had suspended a pilot and two female flight attendants after a passenger jet's autopilot system was accidentally switched off "due to distraction".
The event occurred on an Air India Airbus flight to New Delhi from Bangkok last month carrying over 160 passengers and followed a series of other safety-related incidents involving the airline.
Air India denied media reports the pilot and co-pilot had taken a 40-minute cockpit break to snooze in business class seats and left two attendants in their places to operate the plane in their absence.
But it did say the pilot and two air hostesses had been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation and that the two airline attendants had overstayed the allowed length of time in the cockpit.