Co-pilot on Jet Airways flight “busy on iPad” while pilot rests and the plane drops 5,000 feet

Co-pilot on Jet Airways flight “busy on iPad” while pilot rests and the plane drops 5,000 feet
Based in India, Jet Airways operates several dozen aircraft on routes from the United States, to Europe, and across the Middle East and southern Asia. For the longer flights, Jet Airways has ten Boeing 777-300 extended range aircraft to ferry several hundred people at a time over distances as long as 7,900 miles.

Last week, on one such Jet Airways 777 en route from Brussels to Mumbai with 280 passengers on board, the co-pilot was supposed to be presiding over the flight controls while pilot and captain of the aircraft was taking a “controlled rest,” which is allowed for longer flights.

The co-pilot was apparently too busy doing something on her iPad to notice the flight had descended 5,000 feet in crowded airspace over Turkey. Due to dangerous airspace over Ukraine and Iraq, commercial airlines have been rerouting flights and air traffic control has been more stringent for aircraft to follow assigned altitudes in order to avoid in-air collisions.

Air traffic controllers were finally able to alert the crew to the problem and they corrected the descent. The flight landed safely in Mumbai. The pilots, however, did not inform India’s Director General of Civil Aviation or the airline of the incident, with the former only being notified via an anonymous text message.

Both pilots have been suspended pending an investigation, and while the co-pilot says she was working on her tablet, investigators are examining the possibility that she fell asleep as well. That, or she was having a heck of a run with Candy Crush.

Tablets have been playing an increasing role for aircrews. In lieu of carrying on heavy briefcases of air navigation charts, the tablets can accomplish the same task, and file the flight plans while using a fraction of the space and weight. As news of this incident makes its way through the aviation community, expect to see airlines heavily restricting tablet functionality.

sources: New York Post via BetaBeat

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47 Comments

1. Neo_Huang

Posts: 1067; Member since: Dec 06, 2013

Lol. This is what happens when you get addicted to Candy Crush. Or maybe she was too busy taking selfies.

18. uzimafioso

Posts: 469; Member since: Jul 15, 2014

This is what happens when women drive/fly :p

31. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3123; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

This is what happens when boys jerk off instead of getting laid.

26. Arte-8800

Posts: 4562; Member since: Mar 13, 2014

This is what happens when you use Apple products Like I said before, few weeks ago a women dies trying saving her iPoducts, and know this incident. I was right, what I said: "I wonder what's next?"!

38. Ninetysix

Posts: 2962; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

What incident exactly? Nothing happened broski. The co-pilot said that she was on her tablet but she might have fallen asleep as well. RTFA next time?

30. vandits

Posts: 9; Member since: May 29, 2014

#SELFIE - The Chainsmokers

2. NokiaFTW

Posts: 2072; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

The new govt should suspend this airline and fire that stupid pilot and co pilot. Sleeping and playing on tablets during a flight with so many people on board is unacceptable.

5. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

From what it seems what the pilot did was allowed but the co-pilot was supposed to be at the helm while the captain rested, autopilot or not. As a trained pilot is kinda sickens me what types manage to get an airline job.

12. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

argh, this is what I get for typing in several different responses. That 'is' was supposed to be 'it.'

10. fzacek

Posts: 2486; Member since: Jan 26, 2014

The pilot did nothing wrong. He was taking a controlled rest which is nothing unusual or wrong. He trusted the co-pilot to take over and she was "too busy on iPad". Co-pilot should be fired, pilot did nothing wrong...

20. Ashoaib

Posts: 3276; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

No, its clearly a pilot's mistake... he totally relied on a lady for such an important role... thats why never trust women when you assigned them any important or criticle task... they will mess up something and will say "it just happen"

21. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

What age are you from? Stone Age?

23. swayze91

Posts: 51; Member since: Jun 19, 2014

I think he's just being sarcastic.

24. RebelwithoutaClue unregistered

I hope so

28. Ashoaib

Posts: 3276; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

not really... this is what I experienced throughout my 13 years of professional experience... before I didnt have this thinking about ladies, I considered them more intelligent but in last 7 or 8 years my perception changed alot... by the way, what I said above doesnt imply to all 100% population, but this is what I noticed in most cases

32. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3123; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

No, from the "I've never been laid" age.

44. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

Maybe from Bronze Age....

35. max9777

Posts: 78; Member since: Dec 11, 2011

Sir you, either live under a rock, or just a complete tool. Some of the most powerful and most intelligent people in today's world are woman, year by year woman are surpassing men in everything. So before you make such biased comments, why don't you crawl out of your rock and open your eyes that we are not living in 1920's and this is 2014!

43. Ashoaib

Posts: 3276; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

the problem in this world is that not all human see things from the same perspective... what is right for me can be wrong for others, perspective is usually based on either your experience or education or social circuit... well my comment #28 is sufficient to explain how my perspective is created... well, you are right in your perspective that more n more ladies are performing exceptionally which I admit but I am also not wronge in what I have seen in most of the cases... different people have different experiences and knowledge, same thing can be explained in a different manner from different people... well, you are right in what you said but so do I

3. StraightEdgeNexus

Posts: 3689; Member since: Feb 14, 2014

Lmfaooo, the flappy bird victims O.o

4. ihavenoname

Posts: 1693; Member since: Aug 18, 2013

Everybody on board hears: "whoop whoop whoop whoop DA DING whoop DA DING whoop whoop DA DING..."

6. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Careful with getting flappy birds into the engine...

7. thecorrescode

Posts: 40; Member since: Mar 28, 2013

He is imagining that the plane is the flappy bird... there is an obstacle ahead, that is why it descended...

8. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

So the co-pilot may have hit some button on the table to make the plane drop in altitude? Why is the tablet able to control the plane? I haven't been up to speed with the new planes.

15. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

No the tablet is not able to control the plane lol.

16. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

Almost all the reports stated that the co-pilot may have hit something on the tablet to cause autopilot to shut off or the controls to bring the plane to a descent. I was extremely doubtful about it until I read several press reports stating that as a possibility and I'm not type rated on anything like an airliner.

17. ArtSim98

Posts: 3535; Member since: Dec 21, 2012

Well dunno. The autopilot is not made to be controlled remotely. There's that master switch that turns it off. I doubt any interference from the tablet could have turned it off. And what is even more interesting that she didn't react to the alarm sound which comes when turning off autopilot. That highly suggests that she was either asleep or using headphones with very high volume

22. Maxwell.R

Posts: 218; Member since: Sep 20, 2012

Those reports are flat out wrong. We looked at four additional reports beyond the source articles and saw no such claims.

40. JC557

Posts: 1918; Member since: Dec 07, 2011

I'm gonna base this off the top of my head because i insterted the jet airways name into google and some stories from telegraph, yahoo for example had a statement from someone about the tablet. If they amended it then fine.

9. Salazzi

Posts: 537; Member since: Feb 17, 2014

So not only are women terrible drivers.. they're terrible pilots?? (PS: I know she's the co-pilot.. it's a pilot nonetheless)

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