Gaurav Taneja, an AirAsia India pilot, has alleged that the low-cost airliner violated safety norms. The pilot also runs a popular YouTube channel called 'Flying Beast'.
On Sunday, Gaurav tweeted that he has been suspended by AirAsia India for "standing up for safe operations of an aircraft and its passengers." A day later on Monday, he posted a detailed video on YouTube titled "Reasons behind suspension from my pilot job."
In the video, Taneja alleged that the airline has asked its pilot to do 98 percent of landings in "Flap 3" mode, which allows it to save fuel. If a pilot does not do 98 percent of landings in "Flap 3" mode, the airline considers it a violation of its standard operation procedure.
Flaps are part of wings of an aircraft and they are engaged to create a drag during a landing or a take off.
Taneja gave the example of Imphal airport, where the plane descends more steeply as compared to other airports when approaching for landing.
He said when an aircraft is coming down steeply, it needs to have a drag so that it remains slow, and in these circumstances a pilot has to do a "Flap full" landing.
"In order to achieve targets, what would people do? They will do Flap 3 landings without giving consideration whether it is safe or unsafe.
This directly impacts the passenger safety," he said in his YouTube video.
If something happens during a Flap 3 landing, then the question would be asked to the pilot if he or she cares more about saving fuel or 180 passengers' lives, Taneja said.
"DGCA has taken note of the concerns raised by some stakeholders against a particular airline and its approach to safety. DGCA has already started an investigation into the issues flagged and shall take appropriate action based on the outcome of the said investigatio," the Directorate General of Civil Aviation said on Twitter.
Senior DGCA officials confirmed AirAsia India was under investigation after Taneja's allegations.
AirAsia India did not respond to the request for a statement by the PTI.
(With PTI inputs)