The SriLankan airlines today confirmed it had not found any instances of its Flight crew deactivating flight instruments or systems to simulate abnormal or emergency conditions with passengers on board amid concerns over the airline’s flight safety procedures.
This matter had been revealed in a leaked official email that referred to possible violations of the Air Navigation Regulations by some of its crew.
In a statement on this matter, SriLankan airlines while noting that it had maintained an unblemished safety record said the Flight Safety Section of the airline was on constant alert to monitor any deviations of the laid down procedures that could pose a threat.
“The airline has a Safety Management System that identifies any event that exceeds the pre-set profiles in line with Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) of the airline. The Flight Safety Section monitors these trends on a continuous basis and identifies any deviation that is safety-critical. In this process no such instances of flight crew deactivating certain functional and vital flight instruments/engines/systems on flights (including IRS) with a view to getting an opportunity to practice certain abnormal and emergency conditions had been flagged,” the airlines states.
However, it noted that on one instance where an inflight turn back was carried out due to suspected engine vibration, an in-depth report of the particular flight’s Digital flight Data Recordings (DFDR) indicated that the flight crew had in fact deviated from the SOPs.
“After the due inquiry it was found that the flight crew had violated SOPs – but not the effect of simulating conditions with passengers on board -- appropriate action vis-à-vis the flight crew to address such violations,” the statement noted.
Concerns over the flight safety of SriLankan airlines emerged when an email written to the Airline CEO Kapila Chandrasena by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) Director concerning some SriLankan pilots deactivating certain functional and vital flight instruments/engines in flight on SriLankan flights engaged in commercial passenger operations to practice certain abnormal and emergency conditions, was leaked to the media.
However, a CAA official told Daily Mirror that the email was sent as a precautionary measure as they had received several complaints of such occurrences via their anonymous reporting unit in consideration of the several airline accidents that had occurred in the region.
“The complaints are yet to be confirmed and the notification was sent only as a precautionary measure and not to put the airline in any position of difficulty. However, the airline management had circulated this email among all its pilots and it has been leaked to the media through one of them,” the official said.
He said the establishment carries out regular checks on flight crews and operations by selecting random samples but added the anonymous reporting unit was established to receive any safety breaches committed onboard flights, as they are not equipped with necessary manpower to carry out checks on all flights as necessary. (Lakna Paranamanna)