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Jet Airways plane drops 5,000ft when pilot rested, co-pilot busy on tablet: Reports

Published on Aug 15, 2014 11:19 AM
A Jet Airways passenger plane moves along the tarmac at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel international airport in the western Indian city of Ahmedabad.-- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI - India's aviation watchdog has launched an inquiry after reports that a Jet Airways plane suddenly dropped 5,000ft over Turkey's crowded airspace when its pilot was resting and the co-pilot was looking at her tablet computer.

"The commander was taking controlled rest, which means he was sleeping as per global airline norms where pilots take rest in the cockpit by turn on long flights,'' Times of India quoted a source who spoke to the two pilots of the Boeing 777 aircraft.

"The co-pilot, who was supposed to ensure that the aircraft flew steadily on its assigned path, told....investigators that she was on her electronic flight bag (EFB) - a tablet that has all aircraft documents loaded on to it. She did not realise that the aircraft had dropped below its assigned level," the source said.

The incident occurred last Friday when the aircraft was travelling from Mumbai to Brussels.

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