Because All Cultures Are Equal

Air India Airlines

Struggling state-run carrier Air India has grounded two of its pilots after a fight erupted between the pair just before takeoff, reports said Monday.

The co-pilot allegedly assaulted the captain inside the cockpit as they were preparing the passenger plane for takeoff from the Indian tourist city of Jaipur to New Delhi on Sunday night, the Hindustan Times newspaper said.

The co-pilot was irritated by his superior’s request to write down critical information for the flight, such as the number of passengers on board, take off weight and fuel uptake, the Times Of India reported.

The co-pilot took offence at this and reportedly beat up the captain,” the newspaper said, quoting unnamed sources.

In the larger interest of the airline the commander decided to go ahead with the flight and flew to Delhi,” the daily added.

  • Justin St.Denis

    I have known many, many Indian people over my lifetime, and have visited India three times. My wife’s good friend Anji, who is an Indian immigrant to Canada, married to a Canadian-born Indian, opines that Indian men are characteristically arrogant and frequently suffer from misplaced and over-inflated sense of self-importance and pride. Anji’s husband, an IT executive, is the very opposite of that. They have been married for 20 years. Anji is one of the happiest women I have ever known. 😉

    • Interesting story. It matches up with my understanding of Indian men.

      But I still wonder about the (potential Muslim) name of the co-pilot.

      • Justin St.Denis

        Yes, that thought crossed my mind as well.

  • winniec

    Was the copilot on drugs? Did the copilot have a personality disorder? The takeoff weight is a very important piece of information for a pilot.

    • MannieP

      More likely, it was a caste issue. The pilot may have been the CP’s social inferior.

  • Doug Kursk

    Years ago, there were many, many less aircraft in the air, and consequently, the airlines could pick and choose from among the best crews to fly them.

    Today, at any given time, there are thousands of flights in the air: surely it must be obvious that the talent pool is exhausted and many carriers are working with the b and c grade pilots and crew.

    This state of affairs can lead to incidences such as this one. A certain cold, detached professionalism is seen as a desirous trait when operating high tech equipment.

    I cannot even begin to imagine what it must be like to herd the cats, so to speak, who make up the ranks of many country’s airlines, armed forces etc.

    One day I will write a book on my experiences training foreign nationals…it will make you shake your head.

    • mauser 98

      Airbus estimates that an Airbus A320 takes off somewhere in the world every 2.5 seconds. Boeing estimates every single second 2.2 of their 737s land or take off somewhere in the world.

      • Al_the_Fish

        The plane crashed into the Alps was an A320. the Halifax crash landing was an A320. Now this episode of a slap fight in the cockpit. Is there something in the ergonomics of these planes that sets crews up for failure? I think I will want to make sure my next flight isn’t on an Airbus.

        • Minicapt

          Boeing has a highly experienced censorship department.


        • mauser 98

          maybe Flight 370 a 777 , crew had a dust up?

  • Dana Garcia

    Caste difference? Or just the boss-man arrogance?

    • MannieP

      Could be both. I have had arrogance issues with Indian co-workers. They were invariably high caste.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    My take on this was that the Captain was of a lower caste than the co-pilot and friction ensued.

  • Everyone Else

    I don’t think it’s fair to mock India. They have gigantic problems, and still manage to run a democracy. There are so many different kinds of culture in India that we can’t even imagine them all. India is a big success on the world stage.

  • canuckistan666

    So let’s mock Indian culture because of this one incident. As an Indian born reader of your blog, I think I’ll pass reading on it again.

    • Doug Kursk

      …perhaps you need to adjust your sensitivity meter? Not many sacred cows here, if you’ll pardon the expression.

  • Jon Hammond7

    One thing is for sure; this incident in India won’t inspire me to travel to India or use Air India any time soon. I’m not mad about using Lufthansa for the time-being either. The bottom line is both airlines failed to recognize potential disasters that could be caused by mentally unstable pilots/co-pilots. Both co-pilots in the india and Germany incidents had a glaring past of either violent, threatening behaviour or of mental illness and we don’t need either type occupying cockpits of commercial airliners (or our military aircraft either for that matter).

    In general, airlines need to do a better job of screening out any unbalanced pilots due to mental illness, alcoholism, drug addiction, or Islamo-fascist tendencies, etc.