It was reported that a Vistara flight to Mumbai on Wednesday (18 Jan 2023) had to turn back to Singapore after a malfunction was detected. No one was injured.
Vistara flight UK106 departed Singapore at about 11 am. It was then seen circling over Malaysia before the pilot decided to circle back to Changi.
The latest malfunction comes a week after a Vistara flight departing from Delhi had to return after a malfunction was similarly detected. The plane had to make an emergency landing back in Delhi after it was found to have experienced hydraulic failure.
Vistara uses untrained pilots to land planes
Seven months ago, Bloomberg reported (2 Jun 2022) that Vistara was fined one million rupees (S$17,700) for using untrained pilots to fly and land its planes.
One of the pilots, the first officer, who had not completed his training, was found to have landed a passenger flight in the central Indian city of Indore, seriously endangering the lives of passengers on board,
The captain of the flight, which departed from New Delhi, was also not simulator trained on how to guide a first officer during such landings, an Indian official said of the nation’s aviation regulator.
Fortunately, the plane landed without incident, and no one was hurt.
Vistara was negligent in giving take-off and landing clearance to its pilots without the necessary training, the official added.
Both first officers and captains must be trained on flight simulators before they can land or even guide colleagues to land any aircraft with passengers on board. Vistara violated those regulations, said the official.
In its defence, Vistara said that the pilots had adequate training to conduct a so-called supervised take-off and landing, and that they have the necessary certificates to prove so, although the certificates were issued by a previous employer before they joined Vistara.
Vistara is a joint venture between Tata Group and Singapore Airlines (SIA).
In its seven years of operation, Vistara had never made a profit. After the acquisition of Air India by Tata in January last year, Vistara was merged with Air India in November, two months ago.
Forced by circumstances, SIA has to invest another S$360 million into the merged Vistara-Air India entity so as to prevent share dilution and maintain a 25.1 per cent stake in the enlarged entity.
However, SIA would likely need to inject another S$880 million later if the merged Indian carrier decides to tap both its shareholders for additional funds for restructuring and expansion.