SURABAYA, INDONESIA — A low-cost carrying airline is under investigation after one of its pilots was caught trying to fly a commercial Airbus while intoxicated.
On December 28, the tipsy pilot, 32-year-old Tekad Purna, successfully bypassed security checkpoints, stumbling through the metal detector and dropping personal items along the way.
The pilot then entered the cockpit, and began making a largely incomprehensible pre-flight announcement that unnerved a number of the 154 passengers on board.
Several passengers walked off the plane and reported the pilot’s strange behavior to Citilink airline staff, who then quickly had him removed and replaced. The flight took off about an hour behind schedule.
The president and operational director of Citilink have both resigned over the incident, and the pilot has been fired as the investigation continues.
One year ago, Airlineratings.com ranked Citilink among the bottom ten of the world’s major airlines with the lowest safety ratings, nine of which were from Indonesia. Since 2001, a reported 40 air accidents in Indonesia have resulted in fatalities.
Factors for the country’s failings range from outdated equipment and planes, to runways that are too short. A shortage of skilled pilots, ground personnel and air traffic controllers is also to blame, with only 1,400 people charged with monitoring the more than 10,000 Indonesian flights per day.
According to an MIT statistician working in airline safety, one out of one million airline passengers will die onboard an Indonesian flight, 25 times the death rate of airlines in the United States.-TheIndipendent