In the wake of the Germanwings crash in Europe a few months ago, a three-member committee established by aviation regulator DGCA has recommended a four-stage psychometric test process for pilots and applicants wanting to be pilots. In case the aircraft they are flying is part of an “incident”, then they will again be tested on psychometric parameters.
According to reports, Indian pilots were previously taking these tests on a voluntary basis to certify their fitness to fly.
An expert committee would look into the recommendations, which will help frame comprehensive guidelines on psychometric tests, the official said. For example, IndiGo takes extensive feedback about a pilot’s psychological condition even from drivers who pick up the cockpit crew for duty.
Another round of test would be done while the individual goes for command of an airline. Both the pilots had to be de-rostered. The content of tests will be decided by the DGCA after consultations with the Indian Air Force and Institute of Aviation Medicine, sources said. This comes about after an incident on an Air India flight on 28 June.
As per DGCA norms, the carrier should have in their safety division adequately qualified persons to analyse incidents, defects, carry out internal safety audits and monitor flight operations quality assurance by downloading flight data recorder information. These stages are likely to be when before pilot joins a Flight Training Organisation as a trainee, at the time of joining an airline, when he becomes a Commander and also in case an occurrence or an aberration is noticed.
The move follows the June 28 incident on an Air India flight in which data from the flight was not retrieved despite the aircraft being involved in a bad landing.
In the backdrop of the GermanWings incident where Andreas Lubitz, co-pilot of the flight deliberately crashed the plane in the French Alps earlier in 2015 killing 150 people on board, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) is likely to have submitted a report on the need for psychometric test for pilots.