25 May, 2024


Mihin Lanka: CAA Blows Director Flight Operations’ Safety Hush Lid

Mihin Lanka‘s Director Flight Operations Capt. Pujitha Jayakody‘s attempt in hushing up the budget carrier’s second safety related incident in the month of May, had its lid blown off when the Director Flight Safety Susantha De Silva of the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ordered his Inspector Capt.Anton Kiel to retrieve the flight plans and documents of MJ 603/604 from the airline’s office in Katunayake. “The safety related flight incident reported to the CAA by a third party had operated on the 24th of May 2015 from Colombo to Jakarta and back, with an untrained ‘Extended Twin Engine Operation’ (ETOPS) Cadet Pilot on board ” confirmed De Silva the CAA official to Colombo Telegraph.

Manager Training & Standards Capt.Themiya Abeywickrama

Manager Training & Standards Capt.Themiya Abeywickrama

In this incident MJ flight 603/604 which took off had operated its commercial flight with the normal crew compliment (Captain and a Co-Pilot) with Capt. Adrian Cramer also an Instructor in command. Along with him was an untrained and unqualified ETOPS Cadet Pilot, who had not attended his ground course and simulator training prior to operating this ETOPS flight.

The Cadet Pilot subsequently had commenced his ETOPS ground classes only Wednesday the 3rd of June 2015, ten days after operating this flight to Jakarta.

There was no official report of this incident sent to the CAA by the Flight Operations Department of Mihin Lanka when the incident was reported to them for investigation on the 9th of June 2015.

“It was a pleasant surprise thereafter to receive an official intimation of what had transpired by DFO Capt. Jayakody only after the CAA had begun to investigate into this matter. This practice of hushing up serious safety issues of this nature is not acceptable. It appears now that the management of the Flight Operations Department was hoping this incident would go undetected and Capt.Cramer would be given a slap on the wrists for this oversight as the commander of that flight. It took over 15 days for the DFO Capt. Jayakody to inform us and that too after the whistle was blown to us by a third party” said De Silva.

“I have ordered a comprehensive report from DFO Capt.Jayakody into this incident as even the newly appointed Manager Flight / Ground Safety Capt.Keminda Yahampath of Sri Lankan Airlines who overlooks both airlines was clueless of this incident” continued De Silva .

“Mihin Lanka’s Chief Pilot Training and Standards Capt. Themiya Abeywickrama should have handled this matter better and even kept the Flight Crew Rostering Department of the Cadet Pilot batch’s current training progress. However the very next day the Training Department had subsequently sent the ‘Trainees Progress Report’ to all concerned including Captains of the airline to keep them abreast of their Cadet Pilots’ progress. It will be interesting to see the final report when it is finished as every effort to avoid repetitions of this nature is important ” concluded the and Director Flight Safety of the CAA.

The low cost carrier’s safety issues came to light earlier in the month of May when Colombo Telegraph reported an incident relating to its Capt. Gajendra Wagh who fell asleep at the controls on MJ 408 flight from Sharjah to Colombo. This was when his First Officer had stepped out of the flight deck for a call of nature. The First Officer on that flight had no choice but to re-enter the flight deck by using the ‘cockpit door overriding system’ since he could not wake up his snoozing Captain.

The Cadet Pilots Batch’s ‘Training Progress Report’ as of 10th June 2015 highlighting ETOPS clearance in ‘Pending’ state;

Mihin Lanka

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Latest comments

  • 14

    screenshot journalism at its finest. Next up, screenshots from Facebook and twitter but wait, they have done that too.

    This article should be named ‘CT’s bimonthly bashing of the National Carrier volume 100’. What Mihin had done is wrong but this article makes me question the authenticity. A lot of names being mentioned for no reason and disclosure of other info like in the screenshot is making me wonder whether this is from another ‘credible source’.

    Why aren’t the other newspapers reporting such incidents?

  • 15

    f=ma as for me I am amazed at these stuff CT exposes. I believe you must be a pilot or a friend of those mentioned. Safety is important for mere mortals like us when ever we fly and this seems to be a good check and balance to keep the Mihin Lanka management on their toes. Good stuff CT keep it up your contribution to airline safety overall is brilliant and appreciated by us passengers.

    • 9

      I am not a pilot nor do I know them. Parents didn’t approve me of becoming one although it has been a dream of mine!

      how can you validate these claims? None of the other media aren’t reporting these ‘incidents’ and why would the ‘third party’ leak it to only CT LOL..

      Safety is the most important factor obviously but you don’t need that much of common sense to note that CT is lashing out at pilots. First they accused the Pilot at Mihin for stealing in Singapore which happened like 20 years ago and stories will come up until he his kicked out from the company.

      It’s the flight dispatchers fault for allowing the ‘flight’ in the first place and we are no longer in the Nishantha era, so there is no excuse for it to happen in the first place.

      Is that enough or do you want more reasoning?

      • 4

        [Is that enough or do you want more reasoning?]
        [why would the ‘third party’ leak it to only CT LOL..]
        Reasoning as you put it behind the article is to expose what did happen. BY your own admission your parent’s non approval to chase your dream could be to the fact they may have alluded to the your gaol is well beyond your capability. What’s that old saying mum knows best in your case mum & dad in unison knew better.

        Well done CT.

        • 6

          Parents were right! I know pilots flying for UL are making salaries way into the 8 figure range, at least the Captains are but it isn’t a challenging job; certainly not in terms of risk but you do the same thing everyday flying the same routes etc. I like flying and it need not be for an airline.

          The accusations just don’t add up! Sri Lankan pilots are one of the best in the world. No major human related incidents since the beginning of Sri Lankan. CT digs up shit which is unheard of. None of the other newspapers reported the snoozing incident of the Indian pilot which is very serious. You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to comprehend this.

          As a person who loves Aviation, Sri Lankan means a lot to me. If yo go to airliners.net, which is the largest Aviation database, you’ll see how respected UL service is by foreigners. There is a Manager at Etihad who’d rather fly UL than Etihad!


          UL service has gone down because they are no longer affiliated with Emirates but they must try and form the partnership again since we are no longer under the clutches of MR.

          Opposing stuff on CT means an obvious mud slinging but facts are facts.

          • 1

            Unfortunately your reply is a attempt to white wash what has happend and you have your own facts to disagree but to say CT dig up s##t very unbecoming.By the way digging up s##t as you call it CT use the same vigour to expose Rajapaksa cronies as they do now with new government cronies and malpractices.CT got no need to be like Daily News & turn on a penny every time government change’s.
            Srilankan A343 at London on Feb 5th 2012, take-off without proper performance computation.
            Srilankan A343 at Colombo on Jul 2nd 2013, hard landing and tail strike

            • 1

              len, point taken but with MR it’s a different issue. Here we all know what he and his cronies did but with UL, are we to speculate on terms of an incredulous source?

              If I told you that an Emirates A345 took down structures at the Melbourne airport beyond the runway on takeoff, and barely missed catastrophe, would you believe it? Well CT didn’t report it so.. no?

              Pilots of an Air France A343 forgets to activate speed-brakes upon landing in Montreal on a wet runway resulting in a hull loss, would you believe it? ..no.

              There is nothing political about reporting UL accidents. To hell with MR and their pockets at the expense of our safety. I have read articles by Sunday Times etc about tail strikes and so on but this is unknown shit. Even the dosing pilot incident which is extremely serious given the light of Germanwings crash went undetected by other media. Are you saying the oppression of journalism still in this country or was it a very well orchestrated charade by the so-called ‘journalists’ who supposedly stood up for the previous regime?

              Even the turbulence incident… nearly all the news media reported it but although I sympathize with the passengers and crew, as an aviation guy I wish I was there because it’s a free roller coaster ride. Turbulence will spill your OJ and bruise you a bit if you were crew but nothing more than that.

              If you were a judge, would you like more evidence or less?

  • 10

    Well done CT! Expose them all and keep us safe!

  • 6

    Meanwhile, millions are lost daily even now, by the now amalgamated airline – Mihinair + Air Lanka – while millions live below the poverty line, and under nutrition is rampant among children.
    What price “prestige” of a so-called ‘national airline’?

    Why cannot this ‘white elephant’ be scrapped, chartered aircraft used for official travel, and, other air lines by civilians?

  • 5

    Why do we operate an airline named after a rogue??

  • 7

    Now that Capt Druvi is out, the cowardly lot who used vicious posts here have gone silent ! Why don’t you cowards find someone else to bash now?

  • 3

    Appears that a pilot who could never make Capt. at UL and overseas and who returned at [Edited out]

  • 1

    Susantha de Silva of CAA flight safety… well he should check the licenses of these pilots first of all because when he was personal licenses Director he has given and converted lot of licenses which have questions…

  • 10

    mihinlanka air line personal they dont know how to select the cedit pilot programe also, they depend alpha avation froniers, they cant even personal intivew our students, and also civil avation personal also they dont know their duty properly.then how we can expect higer standard.first we will teach them.

  • 10

    mihin lanka some first officers at even pass GCA A.L ALSO AND SELECT SOME SRI LANKAN REJECT guys, this is their standard then how can we except higher standard and performance.good luck

  • 1

    F=ma that’s an aviation related acronym right ?! So you about despatchers and their responsibilities too ? Lovely, you must be loving aviation to bits but then how come you are against all these exposures mate ? That’s weird isn’t it ? You should be the happiest when CT is doing the spade work and exposing the rogues even if it happened 100 years ago ! Why is it bothering you so much ?

    By the way Ferando, you are terribly misinformed. The Mihin pilots didn’t fail, Sri Lankan missed employing some really good pilots from what we got to know. These youngsters couldn’t come up with the dough demanded by Druvi and the clan perhaps so they were made to miss the bus. For your information, almost 20 of those ‘failures’ are now flying for UL as they don’t have enough. When did they ever have enough ?

    So guys please check your data before you blabber

    • 3

      f=ma is Newtons second law. The resultant force is equal to the mass times its acceleration. The country lacks a force and can’t accelerate towards the future.

      I am against them mate because some/most are baseless allegations. It doesn’t take Newton to know the exposures are bashing at certain individuals. I love aviation to bits and Sri Lankan too. Sri Lankan is more than a flag carrier, it represents a part of Sri Lankan and CT lashes out at Sri Lankan in weekly installments making the Airline look like shit; though, financially it is. Nishantha played dice with it but the maintenance, pilots, aircrafts etc are flawless except to a few outliers. If you aren’t proficient in engineering, there is a term called the factor of safety which basically over designs something so that even if the worst happens, it is safe by a factor of the maximum allowable load. Aircraft have a FOS of 1.5 hence why it rarely fails and even if it does its mostly due to human factors. I doubt our pilots are depressed with that 8 figure salary and a 5 figure moderate cost of living. With simulator training at Sri Lankan, pilots are taught to handle any situation.

      You step into an A340 of Sri Lankan, not even once would you think it is more than 22 years old. The aircraft is old to have alcohol lol. Maintenance is flawless and certified by Airbus itself and most of the amateur pilots have gained their licenses in the States or Aussie where the examiner cannot be bribed nor can you take exams in a wifi enabled room lol.

      I have explained in previous hate posts by CT about how CT makes mountains of mole hills. there sources are either ‘third party’ and since when is screenshot journalism professional. They also mention the names of pilots who are deemed good, bad and moderate by journalists for no reason; who would want to know the names of the cadet pilots who are going through training and at what stage in the training they are? Are going to memorize their names and refuse the flight if they are at the throttles?

      Not everything is perfect but I would fly Sri Lankan as long as it fits my budget.

  • 3

    Fernando and Waruna please Note.

    Well if anybody says UL pilots have standards then thats a hilarious. A Monkey can be trained on Airbus and we seen Donkeys fly them too.( This comes from Two Training Captains who have trained close to 300 Pilots on Airbus and Boeing Sri Lanka and overseas.)We have seen how some UL drivers get in , so please stop bragging about the standards, I flew for UL, I have Cadets who did line training , so I pretty much know the standards. The issue is when you get 500 on type and then the Captaincy they start talking crap and behave they have the Joystick in the A**s

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