SpiceJet Durgapur flight turbulence: DGCA derosters crew, AME; few injured still in hospital

NEW DELHI: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has taken a serious view on SpiceJet operating its Boeing 737 that had encountered severe turbulence during approach at Durgapur on Sunday.
The aviation regulator has derostered aircraft maintenance engineer (AME) who cleared this aircraft to take off from Durgapur, the crew who operated this flight and the airline’s head of maintenance control centre, pending inquiry ordered into this incident.
The regulator has also decided to inspect the entire fleet of SpiceJet.
The Mumbai-Durgapur flight (SG-945) operated on Boeing 737 (VT-SLH) Sunday had about 200 people on board — 195 passengers, four cabin crew and two pilots. The aircraft had taken off from Mumbai at 5.13 pm on Sunday.
“During descent, the aircraft experienced severe turbulence and the vertical load factor varied from +2.64G and – 1.36G. During this period the autopilot got disengaged for 2 minutes and the crew manually flew the aircraft. They reported to Durgapur ATC that few passengers were injured due to turbulence and requested for medical assistance after landing,” the DGCA said in a statement.
Due to the severe turbulence experienced by the aircraft, 14 passengers and 3 cabin crew members got injured.

“The injuries were related to head, spine, shoulder, forehead and facial injuries. At present, 3 passengers are hospitalised. Two of the passengers are in ICU at Durgapur. One of the passenger is admitted in Diamond hospital suffering from head injury and other passenger is in mission hospital with spinal injury,” the DGCA statement added.
The oxygen panels of the B737 opened up and oxygen masks fell off. “Damage has occurred to the few seat hand rest and overhead decorative panel. One cabin overhead bin (hatrack) lock was found broken. The galley items were seen strewn across on the floor. Same was the condition in the aisle. The airline after inspection positioned the aircraft at Kolkata,” it added.
The DGCA has derostered the involved crew, the AME who released the aircraft from Durgapur and the person in charge of Maintenance Control Center of SpiceJet pending investigation.
The aircraft is grounded at Kolkata airport for now.
“As a regulatory measure, DGCA is carrying out inspection of M/s SpiceJet aircraft across fleet,” it says.
The regulator has formed a multi-disciplinary panel to probe the turbulence incident.

The airline says 8 of the 11 hospitalised passengers have been discharged and that both the cockpit and cabin the crew had made multiple announcements asking flyers to remain seated with seat belts fastened when the Boeing 737 was experiencing the turbulence.
In a tweet, aviation minister J M Scindia said: “The turbulence encountered by a flight while landing in Durgapur, and the damage caused to the passengers is unfortunate. The DGCA has deputed a team to investigate the incident. The matter is being dealt with utmost seriousness and deftness. More details on the cause(s) will be shared once the investigation is completed.”
The turbulence encountered by a flight while landing in Durgapur, and the damage caused to the passengers is unfort… https://t.co/YSBOaUYAD9— Jyotiraditya M. Scindia (@JM_Scindia) 1651486508000
A SpiceJet spokespersons said: “Eight of 11 hospitalised passengers have been discharged so far. SpiceJet is providing all possible help to the injured. The seat belt sign was on when the aircraft encountered turbulence. Multiple announcements were made by the pilots and the crew instructing passengers to remain seated and keep their seat belt fastened. Due to severe turbulence, injuries were caused to a few passengers. Timely medical assistance was provided upon arrival.”