Male pilots put flyers at risk to avoid sexual harassment charges

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by pmaitra, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Male pilots put flyers at risk to avoid sexual harassment charges

    The fear of being accused of sexual harassment is driving male pilots to violate a standard operating procedure (SOP), potentially putting lives in peril.

    According to the SOP governing flight safety, the pilot or the co-pilot can leave the cockpit only after a member of cabin crew has been called into the flight deck. This is to ensure that if the person flying the plane suddenly falls sick, there is someone to tend to him or her and get the other pilot back urgently.

    But, it turns out, many male pilots across domestic airlines have decided to keep air hostesses out of the cockpit, terrified the women will slap charges of groping or other forms of harassment on them.

    "As a departure from the SOP, most of us in SpiceJet as well as in other domestic carriers have adopted a practice wherein we don't really allow the female members of the crew to enter the flight deck," a senior pilot told HT.

    "The only reason being that should one of them turn around tomorrow and level seriously damaging allegations of groping, we pilots would have a lot of answering to do and may even lose our jobs even if the allegations are unsubstantiated," he said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    Several other pilots said that recent high-profile cases involving a retired judge, Justice AK Ganguly, and journalist Tarun Tejpal, have forced them to look at measures that "protect us, even though they come at the cost of flight safety."

    Airlines contacted were quick to deny that any such contravention of SOP was occurring.

    A SpiceJet spokesperson said: "As a procedure, the crew does go in when required. No one is afraid nor has there been any case of anything unusual happening. The idea of fear of female cabin crew is preposterous given that we have plenty of female pilots as well."

    "There have never been any instances of pilots sharing any fears of asking female crew members to come inside the cockpit when one of the pilots has stepped out. Safety is paramount for IndiGo and there can be absolutely no compromise on safety," said an IndiGo spokesperson. Air India and Jet Airways did not respond.

    But one pilot spoke of the need to air his fears: "I do admit and fully understand that not allowing female colleagues in have consequences from a flight safety issue, but I do deem it important enough to let our fears be known to the public at large.''

    Another pilot HT spoke to said, "The new law is playing on our psyche.'' Asked if they were not scared about air hostesses complaining about the SOP being violated, he said, "We pilots are constantly discussing this issue and now believe that it is better that the air hostess complain about not being allowed entry into the cockpit than them complaining about being groped." Another pilot said they only allow cabin crew colleagues they know well and trust but are now guarded about following the SOP as a routine.

    Source: Male pilots put flyers at risk to avoid sexual harassment charges - Hindustan Times
     
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  3. Free Karma

    Free Karma Senior Member Senior Member

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    Stick cameras in the cockpit (do they already have them?) . In case of an accusation, consult the video and see if it's true!
     
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  4. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    What if someone complains after one year? Look at what happened to Justice Ganguly for refusing to toe Mamata's line.
     
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  5. Razor

    Razor CIDs from Tamilnadu Senior Member

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    How about the airline put up the videos on its YouTube channel. YT will store it for a long time, I'm guessing.
    Just thinking out loud.
     
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  6. Free Karma

    Free Karma Senior Member Senior Member

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    You cant really stop people of accusing someone, so in that case the best thing we can do is to have a basic mechanism that could help the parties validate their claim or defend themselves, instead of it going down to a he says/she says (normally people are sympathetic to the woman, which is why the pilots are scared.)

    It's obviously going to be hard to store flight videos over a period of time.So maybe after each flight, review the footage (fast forward through the whole thing..how long are these hostesses going spend in the cockpit anyway), and perhaps make the air hostesses fill out post flight forms, saying nothing bad happened.

    So if the lady complains after a few years, the question then becomes why did you not go through the system at that point?

    The air hostess could still say that person doing the review was in collusion with the pilot and so on,but atleast you have something to show for the pilot, as in these cases the sympathy tends to be for the woman.

    I'm not sure of the details in the Ganguly case, I haven't really followed it closely.
     
  7. Eesh

    Eesh Regular Member

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    This trend is going to increase in govt as well as private sector. Ultimately, in pvt sector, you will see fewer women. In govt everyone will be uneasy to work with females, senior or junior. After all, even a senior female can level some serious allegations.
     
  8. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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  9. anoop_mig25

    anoop_mig25 Senior Member Senior Member

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    But how is that possible .Congress-TMC arent in best of relations so how could congress allow Ganguly to get malign in media just for TMC .

    I see other angle specially related to 2G telecom case
     
  10. Bangalorean

    Bangalorean Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Farooq Abdullah did say the other day, "we feel scared to recruit women nowadays". The comment was partly tongue-in-cheek, and the media morons made such a massive fuss about it. Idiot Arnab Goswami's outrage machine was running full steam that night.

    I said in the aftermath of the Delhi gangrape, that the media morons are doing a grave disservice to society by focusing on nonsense like "tough laws" instead of demanding police reforms and police accountability. The existing laws were always good enough, the problem was with enforcement, as is always the case in India.

    Now, due to all the assholism of the media morons, we have draconian laws totally skewed against males. As if we haven't seen enough misuse of dowry laws.
     
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  11. Sakal Gharelu Ustad

    Sakal Gharelu Ustad Detests Jholawalas Moderator

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    Storing footage for six months or an year is no such big deal.
     

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