28 September, 2020

Blog

Sri Lankan Airlines: London Flight Delayed As Pilot Leaves Flying License At Home

A Sri Lankan Airlines flight operating to London a few days back with its Chairman Ajit Dias and soon to be outgoing CEO Rakhita Jayawardena on board, was delayed by sixteen minutes as the pilot of the flight Capt.Prasanna Karunatilleke had reported to operate this commercial flight leaving his flying license at home.

The Flight Operations clerk at the Flight Crew Center was shocked to find out that the senior pilot, current flight and simulator instructor and former Manager Training and Standards had turned up to operate the flight minus the most important piece of documentation a pilot should carry, a member of the Pilots Guild speaking on condition of anonymity told Colombo Telegraph.

SriLankan airlines“This type of irresponsible behavior of a pilot is not acceptable as it tarnishes the image of the airline.However the Flight Operations Administration Manual (FOAM) 2.8.5 states that the punishment for offences such as this would be that the pilot be rostered to operate turn a round flights, with no over night stop overs for a duration of one month. Accordingly Capt. Karunatilleke who had submitted a written explanation accepting his mistake was served his punishment last Monday, upon arriving from the said flight he operated to London” said the member of the Pilots Guild.

“The national carrier has been noted to have served inconsistent punishments to pilots in the past where a certain pilot was even down graded to fly the narrow bodied smaller aircraft for an offence of this nature. However now that the Flight Operations Administration Manual has been standardized in the recent past, Capt.Karunatilleke has simply got a slap on his wrists and strangely will still hold on to his Instructor posting during the course of his punishment period.” said the pilot guild member.

The national carrier had opted to utilize another captain scheduled to operate a flight to Jeddah as a back up plan, if Capt. Karunatilleke’s flying license did not reach the aircraft within an approved delayed time of fifteen minutes. His license subsequently arrived eleven minutes after the scheduled time of departure and the aircraft eventually pushed back sixteen minutes behind schedule.

However there was no subsequent flight delay into London Heathrow as favorable tail winds en route helped make an on time arrival.

The national carrier working on its punctuality record had made great progress last month with a reported percentage of 85.6% and reaching number seven out of the the fourteen airlines in its One World alliance. Globally the airline was rated number sixteen for punctuality last month, a huge surge in rankings especially with its history of poor on time performances.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Latest comments

  • 11
    3

    In the scheme of things the airline seems to be improving in performance since the days when the Rajapaksas assumed it belonged to them.

    And I am also heartened that the errant pilot Capt. Karunatilleke had accepted his mistake and a punishment was served on him however tokenish the punishment is.

    And I am also heartened that the airline has taken steps to redress the very well known lackadaisical attitude towards flying on time.

    However I still do not see the point why the tax payer have to prop up this colossal loss making enterprise. The airline should be privatised or simply scrapped.

  • 16
    5

    What a stupid story! Don’t they have the Lankan pilots’ licenses somewhere on file at the airport, or on Sri Lankan Airlines database?

    • 2
      7

      ramona therese fernando

      “What a stupid story! Don’t they have the Lankan pilots’ licenses somewhere on file at the airport, or on Sri Lankan Airlines database?”

      The Answer is Blowin in the Wind……. Blowin in the Wind.

    • 4
      5

      It is not a stupid story when peoples lives are at stake. A man in UK was recently charged for impersonating a surgeon and had carried out several operations. Impersonating a pilot would be a piece of cake.

    • 0
      0

      @Ramona Therese, are you really incoherent? These licenses are issued by International standards and a Pilot needs to carry the original with them at all times. Ok, SL cleared them in Colombo. What happens the idiot needs to fly the plane back from a foreign land? How is he going to verify his pilot status?

      • 0
        0

        Oh….yes, that sounds correct. I was thinking that in this digital age, he could show his id and/or fingerprints. And his licenses are on international databases also.

      • 0
        0

        Tamil from the north

        “Ramona Therese, are you really incoherent?”

        What do you expect from a scatterbrain?

  • 4
    1

    We never change.

  • 10
    3

    Looks like CT is gunning the Sri Lankan management.

    Also enough disgruntled pilots to leak info about their own colleagues to bring them down.

    • 0
      0

      [Edited out]

      • 0
        0

        [Edited out]

    • 1
      0

      Jagath Fernando:
      I have the same impression as you do and I have no Sri Lankan Airlines or Mihin Air axes to grind!
      What concerns me as a Sri Lankan is the fact that there appears to be so much vicious back-biting at our national airline, something I doubt anybody has seen with regard to the national airlines of other countries.
      It seems that when it comes to matters of war crimes and crimes against humanity, we are only too ready to circle the (Sri Lankan) wagons but when it comes to providing support to our national airline, there is dearth of “helpers” and plenty of naysayers!

  • 11
    0

    Admitting mistakes in Sri Lanka is unheard of. The path to rectification is first acknowledge one’s mistake, so I hope you have learnt something from this experience.

  • 20
    1

    P.Karu as he is fondly known , is an excellent pilot and a very conscientious professional with an unblemished record at Srilankan . Obviously , the knives are out for him – why else should a seemingly minor incident not affecting the safety of passengers warrant such an ‘expose’ on CT ?

  • 19
    1

    Mr. Don’t u have any other things to do other than digging crap out of UL. I think u r violating Emirates airlines employee policies by doing so.
    Please mind ur own business, give a tray of food and look after ur cabin safety as it is ur job.
    U r the second best journalist in the world…the first is, everyone else.

  • 10
    0

    No big deal. 300 pilots, 30 years of flying what is the percentage of a pilot delaying a flight due to his mistakes?

  • 21
    0

    Is this a CT piece of journalism? If so. I must admit it is quite poor and not correct.
    As humans we are eligible to forget even the most important things.
    His forgetting to carry his papers does not make him a bad Pilot.

    • 12
      1

      CT is human too. It momentarily forgot what journalism is.

  • 0
    7

    Standards in our people is decimal by international standards,this I observe every day in the country and I am not surprised by his neglect of duty.
    I think we should privatize this airline to get more out of it.That goes for many other government enterprises.
    Hope I will have a safe flight to London by Sri lankan in 3 weeks time.

  • 1
    1

    [Edited out]

  • 1
    5

    Having read CT’s exposure on what some would term as a ‘seemingly minor’ incident, those in aviation however will not agree as seemingly minor incidents have led to worse situations in the air. To err is human but this very same guys subordinates were made to face his bullish, crude and selfish behavior for too long. Nothing was ‘seemingly minor’ then. Many Pilots were punished for much less omissions. If Pilots are calling for his blood that’s well understood by those within that ever setup of double standards, even if it doesn’t sound appropriate to outsiders. What goes around should come around is their prayer.

    One reader had commented that the story is stupid and that the license should be in a file somewhere ! Try saying that next time the cops do a spot check on you if you ever happen to drive a car. He will will carry an insane smile on his face and you would remember that face your entire life.

  • 0
    4

    Dumb pilots.. Theres another one called[Edited out]

  • 13
    0

    .Come on CT he is a human being and like any other human being who forgets he forgot to bring his license. So whats all the fuss about.Its only a document.He didnt cause any danger to the aircraft.
    We should stop bickering over these minor lapses and concentrate on revamping the airline by tackling major lapses of the previous chairman

  • 8
    0

    I like the way we Sri Lankans supported by CT blow things out of proportions.
    We like to make a mountain of a molehill and fail to see the ground that this person is also a human being.

    Well done people, keep pointing your index finger and forget the three bent fingers which is pointing at you to indicate that no one is perfect.

  • 1
    1

    [Edited out]

  • 5
    0

    I don’t see any problem with reporting this story. However, no need to make a mountain out of a molehill. The flight was delayed by all of 16 minutes, which is minimal and the missing document WAS found

    “Shocked” is an overstatement on the part of the anonymous tipster. People forget things all the time, keys, wallets, purses.. why not a Pilots License ?

    Methinks the only reason this made the headlines is because of the Bigwigs on board

  • 2
    0

    Oh be quiet. How many of you never forgot to take your flying license when you reported for duty to pilot a Boeing 787 Dreamliner?

  • 0
    5

    Sorry guys I do not agree with those of you writing in defense of the pilot. Irresponsibility and negligence is what this entire thing tells me.He may have been a good pilot but he just turned 60 and possibly a forgetful mindset is creeping in. Hope he does not forget something more important like extending the landing gear on his next flight. If Harry J was the Chairman on board instead of Ajit Dias the pilot would have been sent home. Ajit Dias is said to have been going to London to watch the world cup rugby games and then onto to Slovenia for a personal holiday. Keep going CT you are doing a great job in exposing stuff like this. What goes around comes around as word doing its rounds is that this pilot held a management position before and made it hell for other pilots.Many other pilots were reported to have been punished severely and more harshly in the past for a similar offense when he held the reigns.

  • 5
    0

    Seriously is this news? With all the crap going on in the country and Yahapalanaya slowly morphing into a nepotistic fun festival, is this really something that should be featured here CT?

    While Sri Lankans love to sling mud at their national carrier and it’s almost a national sport, they forget that while Sri Lankan Airlines may have a whole bunch of slight misdemeanors that include punctuality issues their track record for flight disasters has been clean. A feat that would have been impossible if the pilots really were a bunch of blundering buffoons don’t you think?

    For F**** sake people get off your high horses! The pilot made a mistake and he deserved whatever punishment he was meted out, but he does not deserve to be publicly shamed here like this and to be called an idiot by a bunch of internet trolls who have nothing else to do with their time than drop it like it’s hot when it comes to condemning!

  • 4
    0

    Seriously guys?? Is this an article that needs to go on Colombo Telegraph ? You are turning out to be like some of the local news channels – A JOKE !!

  • 4
    0

    How could this be a news item? It is purely an administrative matter for the Airline, not for the public. The safety of the passengers, crew or the aircraft was not an issue here. So I simply do not understand why CT wants to hang this senior pilot in public purely for an administrative matter, disregarding his lifelong service to the SL airline. This is not a matter of any public interest. Only the departure of the flight was delayed by 15 minutes. What is the big deal? I live in Australia and fly Qantas often. Qantas is a world class airline but 15 minutes delay of departure in insignificant.

  • 0
    5

    Ouch ! seems like a big boy has been hurt here and all his mates are rallying in his defense. As for me CT has and is doing a brilliant job. Guess it’s tough luck if others don’t like it and especially as egos have been being bruised here. But CT please expose every little thing you could and keep going. Brilliant job you always do.

  • 0
    3

    Isn’t it ironical that the once upon a time powerful and abusive mafia of the former mismanagement team now rushes in to safeguard a serious blunder ( or is it plain forgetfulness) of their former boss ? Damn morons aren’t they ? Would they have stepped out in their disguises to safeguard if this had befallen any other pilot ? Certainly not as we have witnessed recently.
    It is said that Mihin’s former manager Safety, ground & flight instructor who is known for his honesty and integrity was recently terminated for having spilt the beans on skullduggery that’s going on there. So where were these good Samaritans ?
    Jayakody, like his uncle Hugh who sent flowers to Fukuoka at state expense is now hell bent on sending his pinapples and coconuts to Seychelles even when the weather doesn’t permit it. The Civil Aviation Authority is sleeping on the job – until an accident happens …. So where are these wise cracks ????

    • 1
      0

      Waruna

      You are sounding more and more like a frustrated old bus driver rather than a disgruntled Srilankan pilot with an axe to grind against the hierarchy .

      BTW the cut flower exporter was Hubert .It appears you don’t like his nephew either !
      Not everybody who comments on Srilankan stuff is a pilot using a pen name . We all love our national airline, and hate to see dirty linen being washed in public.

  • 1
    1

    [Edited out] is not a good guy, when. He was the Manager quality and Training he took lot of revenge and made life difficult of few expat captains and sim instructors.

    He is a the guy who always opposed the ex Air force guys becoming Management Captains and hated them.

  • 0
    0

    Hey Quack Doc, so you know those Jayakodi characters and old bus drivers better than me eh ?
    You seem to know that all pen name trolls here are not among pilots. How come ? Are you a quack psycho by any chance or a mind reader mate ?
    Ofcourse I don’t know them personally but then again how many of those crooks of the former govt do you know or are related to ? I don’t and have no regrets either.

  • 1
    0

    Pissing in the wind…… Please stop this, you are exposing your own people.with the smelly stuff all over you. shame.

  • 0
    0

    Don’t know how this could be termed as pissing into wind you should try it, it comes back in yourself right ?
    But this is an exposure on double standards and no standards at all so how can it come onto anyone other than those involved ? Sri Lankans, be brave and learn to call a spade, a spade without pussyfooting !
    Well done CT, go ahead and expose the muck. They don’t deserve our hard earned money to stay afloat. Enough is enough we have been coughing out for so long that we are now spitting blood.

Leave A Comment

Comments should not exceed 200 words. Embedding external links and writing in capital letters are discouraged. Commenting is automatically disabled after 7 days and approval may take up to 24 hours. Please read our Comments Policy for further details. Your email address will not be published.