Recently, the crew of an Indian airline performed a short choreographed dance sequence mid-flight on the occasion of Holi. This is, a not so rare practice amongst low-cost Indian carriers, who organize such dance sequences to celebrate special festivals (since festivals are a huge part of Indian culture, plus publicity for the airline afterwards).
Here is a YouTube video.
One of the pilots can be seen recording the dance on his camera.
SpiceJet specially planned this event, and had extra cabin crew on-board the flight as a precaution. Also, during the dance, one of the pilots was in the cockpit while the other one was outside, following standard regulations.
DGCA however, got wind of this, and turned out to be not in a very festive mood.
Mid-air Holi celebrations aboard eight flights have cost SpiceJet heavily, with the DGCA issuing show cause notice to the airline and suspending two of its pilots.
Here's another news link.
One of the arguments made by the DGCA was that this was dangerous to flight operations, and could have resulted in disaster had there been any emergency on-board during the event. Also, that this could result in an unruly cabin environment where in-flight safety of the crew and passengers would be affected.
Were the actions (suspension of pilots and showcause notice to the airline) justified? Is a dancing cabin crew dangerous to flight operations?
Well I suppose the answer depends on whether or not the flight crew are good dancers: If my uncoordinated self was trying to bust a move in an airline cabin I'd probably wind up kicking someone in the face, but these folks seem to be doing OK.
I can only assume dance lessons are part of SpiceJet's crew training program :-)
Alright, in all seriousness - there is increased risk any time every person onboard isn't securely strapped into their seats. There have been incidents (recent ones) where flight crew walking about the cabin have been injured due to unexpected turbulence, and those same unrestrained people can essentially become human projectiles to injure others onboard.
That said I personally don't think the cabin crew doing a mid-flight dance routine poses a significant safety risk.
The fact that one of the pilots was out of the cockpit recording it is slightly more questionable, and may be what has the DGCA upset in this situation. While there are procedures for having one pilot off the flight deck those provisions are generally for necessary things (like a trip to the bathroom, or investigating a systems fault). The intent is for the cockpit to be manned by two qualified pilots at all times.
If an emergency were to have happened during this dance routine the pilot we see in the video would have had to get back to the cockpit, strap in, and put on a headset (& possibly an oxygen mask) before being of much use.
aboard eight flights have cost SpiceJet heavily, with the DGCA issuing show cause notice to the airline and suspending two of its pilots. Here's another news link. One of the arguments made by the DGCA was that this was dangerous to flight operations, and could have resulted in disaster had there been any emergency on-board during the event. Also, that this could result in an unruly cabin... of the pilots can be seen recording the dance on his camera. SpiceJet specially planned this event, and had extra cabin crew on-board the flight as a precaution. Also, during the dance, one of the pilots
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