Dubai flight plunges 7000ft while pilot is in loo

Air India Express flight from Dubai loses autopilot functionality

Air India Express plane [Getty Images]
Air India Express plane [Getty Images]

An Air India Express flight from Dubai plummeted 7000ft while the pilot was in the toilet, according to a report in the Hindustan Times newspaper.

The incident took place on May 26 and occurred just four days after a previous Air India Express plane flying from Dubai crashed in Mangalore and killed 158 people.

The incident only came to light on Monday when the pilots were questioned by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). The emergency occurred when the autopilot malfunctioned and stopped working, causing the aircraft to fall.

The Air India Express aircraft, with 112 passengers on board, was only an hour into its flight to the Indian city of Pune. The captain was in the toilet at the time and the co-pilot was unable to regain control of the aircraft. It took two minutes for the captain to input the security code needed to gain entry to the cockpit and regain control of the aircraft, according to the report.

"The aircraft plunged from 37,000ft to 30,000ft after the autopilot stopped working," a senior DGCA official, requesting anonymity, told the newspaper. An Air India Express spokesperson confirmed that the incident had occurred.


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