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India investigates serious level bust incident with Boeing 777 descending 5000 feet below cleared altitude
14 August 2014
File photo of Jet Airways' VT-JEL (photo: John Taggart / CC:by-sa)

File photo of Jet Airways’ VT-JEL (photo: John Taggart / CC:by-sa)

The Indian aviation authorities are conducting an investigation of a  serious level bust incident in which a Jet Airways Boeing 777-300 supposedly descended 5000 feet below the cleared flight level in Turkish airspace.

The incident occurred on August 8, 2014 when Jet Airways flight 9W228 was en route from Mumbai, India to Brussels, Belgium. The Boeing 777, VT-JEL, was en route at FL340 in Turkish airspace of the Ankara FIR when it entered a descent. At that moment the captain was resting and the co-pilot was busy reading the flight manual on her tablet.

The Ankara ACC controller noted the descent and radioed the flight to take the plane back to the designated altitude. The co-pilot woke up the commander, who took the flight back to FL340. The level bust could not be verified on flight tracking website Flightradar24 because it lacks coverage a large portion of the Ankara FIR.

DGCA appointed a three-member team to do a training audit of Jet Airways to find out whether there are any shortcomings in their training. 

Indian media report tat the incident would have gone unnoticed if it was not for an anonymous mobile message about the uncontrolled descent to DGCA’s joint director general on August 12.