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Pilot, crew suspended after cockpit incident

By CNN Staff
updated 11:17 AM EDT, Sun May 5, 2013
The airline denied reports both pilots had vacated the cockpit at the same time. (File photo)
The airline denied reports both pilots had vacated the cockpit at the same time. (File photo)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Earlier media reports said plane's pilots both left the cockpit
  • Air India denies cockpit was left unattended
  • Airline took administrative action after it confirmed an overstay incident

(CNN) -- Air India has suspended a pilot and two flight attendants after an overstay incident on a flight last month.

The airline denied as "baseless" numerous local and international media reports claiming two pilots had vacated the cockpit for almost an hour during a flight between Bangkok and New Delhi.

"At no point of time the cockpit was left unattended by the cockpit crew," the airline said in a statement.

The airline said it conducted an inquiry after it was notified that cabin crew members were in the cockpit for a prolonged period.

"The inquiry confirmed the overstay of the cabin crew in the cockpit (and) administrative action was taken against them and the pilot. They have been suspended pending the final inquiry of the incident," the airline said.

"At Air India, flight safety is paramount. We take all steps to ensure that safety is not compromised under any circumstances."

The Times of India reported the two flight attendants were in the cockpit on flight 133 from Bangkok to the Indian capital on April 12 for almost an hour and were sitting in the pilot and co-pilot's seat.

The Times of India reported that at some point during the overstay the plane's autopilot function was inadvertently disengaged.

"It never happens that two flight attendants are called inside the cockpit at the same time as happened on this flight. This is very strange," a senior commander was quoted by The Times of India.

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