Pakistan’s Civil Aviation Authority (PCAA), or mainly known as CAA, is considered to be an autonomous body thereby, it has the sole right to establish its own laws and code of conduct.
Ultimately, there is some potential for such a body to turn into a mafia which coerces individuals and/or other bodies into its fixed mold or worse, blackmailing them into submission. Cases where the individual may attempt to fight against the pressure of CAA, they will be forced out by public humiliation most often than not.
Moreover, the CAA which was formed in December of 1982, also happens to be a member state of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). Additionally, it has affiliations with or ownership of most private airports across the state. This makes it an easy task for them to control and manipulate the careers and future prospects of the CAA-appointed rebels.
While, the CAA’s safety investigation board (SIB) has publicly conducted four air crash investigations between the years 2006 and 2016. There are many instances which had been brushed conveniently under the rug such as any complaints filed by victims or potential victims of the CAA. Who more often than not are pushed into early retirement or worse, after maligning them publicly, the CAA gets rid of them like a person would do so with a useless commodity such as a dirty tissue paper.
Similarly, on September 19th 2018, a complaint was lodged by First Officer (F/O) Muhammad Jahanzeb Mallick (ATPL-1418) addressed to Ex-Director General (DG) CAA, Shahrukh Nusrat. To investigate the authenticity of the complaint, Director Human Resource (HR) CAA, ordered a constitution of Board of Inquiry (BOI). Mallick had to struggle for one year to get the BOI report which Captain Arif Majeed instructed the HR not to release. The report was released a few months back after giving a legal notice to the HR.
Captain Arif Majeed knew that without this report Mallick could not even publish his complaints therefore, he tried his level best not to release it.
The complainant F/O Jahanzeb Mallick initially did his flying courses from the United States (US) and then started his career in the US. Later, he joined Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) and served the organization for 18 years and then worked for 3 years with Shaheen Air International (SAI). In his 21-year career, he had an experience of approximately 10,000 flying hours with no mishap and failure record.
On January 10th, 2018, he was sent to Gulf Aviation Academy (GAA) Bahrain for P-1 Simulator Check on A-320. The Check Captain at GAA Bahrain was Captain Khalil Al Aseeri while CAA Pakistan appointed Captain Iftikhar Jalees Usmani (ATPL-1175) as Flight Inspector (Pilot) to monitor his check.
According to sources of Baaghi TV, Captain Naveed Sabahat DCPA (A320) was initially assigned to monitor the check. But at the last moment something happened and Captain Usmani was deputed for the Simulator Check.
With the help of Captain Arif Majeed, who was Director Flight Standards (DFS) at that time, Captain Usmani maneuvered and went for the check. People around them observed the mollified intentions of Captain Usmani towards Mallick.
By the orders of Captain Arif Majeed, Captain Naveed was changed late night and Captain Usmani was given the charge. The entire game plan was to report Mallick sick and fail him deliberately.
While talking to Baaghi TV, Captain Jahanzeb Mallick mentioned the rude and strange attitude of Captain Usmani towards him. “While shaking hands with Captain Usmani, I knew something will go wrong as of my experience which is more than him in terms of giving checks to CAA inspectors and interacting with them,” he said.
After failing Mallick and declaring his results ‘UNSATISFACTORY’, Captain Usmani asked him to sign the final check form which Mallick refused to do so.
As a result, Captain Usmani recommended Mallick for a psychometric evaluation with the approval from Arif Majeed which he successfully passed. This was a punishment given by CAA inspector and Captain Arif Majeed together.
However, when BOI ordered the same psychometric test for Captain Usmani, Arif Majeed saved him by not complying with the BOI report and somehow managed to stop him to go for it. As there were high chances that he would have failed in that.
However, Mallick is not the only victim to this politics going on within the CAA by these mafias. Captain Usmani has intentionally failed multiple pilots including F/O Fawad Mallick and F/O Natasha out of grudge or enmity which clearly indicates towards the ongoing politics inside the CAA.
During discussions with various pilots failed in simulator checks under his supervision, it is revealed that Captain Usmani has a rude attitude with the pilots as a Flight Inspector. He becomes harsh and hyper at times, and many pilots are influences of his behavior as an examiner.
Furthermore, the final BOI report clearly indicates that Captain Usmani has multiple health issues with high blood pressure, acute diabetes and hypertension. BOI referred him for psychometric evaluation which he did not do with the help of Captain Arif Majeed.
According to sources of Baaghi TV, Captain Usmani’s flying career has three major accidents in the past. First of all, he hit the wing of his plane in Pakistan Air Force (PAF). Secondly, his initial check at Air Blue failed in France as first command check. Lastly, in Shaheen Air International, he busted two tires while landing in Birmingham that was all his fault.
As they were scared of the possible consequences by Flight Standards Inspectors, they never broke the silence and didn’t record any formal statement against CAA.
With the help of Captain Arif Majeed, before leaving the office DG CAA gave Captain Usmani one-year contract as an inspector. He also got another extension for a year and still working in the CAA. It is very sad to say that with this system, more and more pilots will be targeted by such people.
Communication gap between CAA and examinee pilots/operator should be reduced and syllabus should be provided to candidates prior to tests. The rate of failure and fear should be minimized among the candidates in order to improve the process of checks.
According to reports, it is upon the examiner’s discretion to select a random exercise among the vast syllabus of exercises for the simulator check. Therefore, it makes difficult for the pilots under check, at times.
It is quite possible that some pilots may be deliberately given tough exercises, while others relatively easy. Flight Standard Directorate should possibly look into the matter and make this process transparent and fair for all pilots.
Moreover, the attitude of CAA Inspectors should be encouraging and positive towards the applicants. CAA Inspectors should limit themselves as ‘silent monitors’ as defined in the manuals rather than interrogators and dictators. There should be a friendly environment for operators and examinee pilots, so that the aviation industry flourish in the country.
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