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Redbird resumes flight training operations after safety overhaul

New Delhi, Feb 21, 2024
Redbird Training Academy has announced the resumption of its operation after the Directorate of General of Civil Aviation in October last year suspended its flight operations for all the bases in the country following two incidents, highlighting safety issues.

“We, at Redbird Flight Training, feel immense pride in announcing a successful completion of the recertification process of our maintenance approval and resumption of our flying training operations,” it said in a statement.

In November last year, the aviation watchdog, DGCA had undertaken a fresh re-certification of “Redbird Training Academy”.

“Pursuant to two serious incidents in quick succession involving aircraft of Redbird Flight Training Academy Pvt. Ltd. on October 19 and 22, the DGCA carried out a special maintenance audit of the organisation at its main base at Baramati, Maharashtra and four sub-bases at Seoni, Madhya Pradesh Kalburgi (Karnataka), Belgavi (Karnataka) and Lilabari (Assam)” said a DGCA official.

“The findings from the special maintenance audit revealed deficiencies in personnel training, maintenance schedules and records, internal audit practices, tool and store management and fuel storage and handling,” said the official.

“Accordingly, DGCA had initiated enforcement action on Redbird Flight Training Academy and a show cause notice has been issued for the deficiencies. We had reviewed the corrective actions taken by the academy on the findings of the maintenance audit,” said the official.

The review had indicated that the flying training organisation has failed to continuously adhere to the provisions of Aircraft Rules, 1937 and Civil Aviation Requirements in order to ensure proper maintenance of the aircraft for ensuring continued safe operations.

“Accordingly, recertification of the maintenance organisation and continuous airworthiness management of Redbird Flight Training Academy was undertaken afresh by DGCA,” the official added.

On October 19, 2023, the Tecnam P2008JC single-engine aircraft with the registration VT-RBC took off from runway 11 at Baramati, with its sole occupant, who was the Chief Flying Instructor (CFI), on board.

Shortly after reaching an altitude of around 100 feet during the initial climb, the crew encountered an engine-related issue resulting in a loss of power. In response to this unexpected situation, the crew made the decision to abort the flight and executed a crash landing just outside the airport’s northern perimeter.

On October 22, 2023, another incident involving a Tecnam P2008JC single-engine aircraft, registered as VT-RBT, occurred. This aircraft had two occupants on board, comprising an instructor and a trainee, who were conducting a general flying training sortie at Baramati. While climbing to the assigned altitude of 2500 feet, the aircraft experienced a loss of power.

In response to this in-flight issue, the instructor promptly decided to terminate the training sortie and initiated a forced landing in a field located approximately two nautical miles from the airport.

The forced landing resulted in the aircraft flipping over, and various components, including the landing gear, propeller, wings, and fuselage, sustained damage.

Fortunately, there were no injuries to either of the occupants, demonstrating the effectiveness of the instructor’s handling of the emergency situation.(Agency)

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