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Date: 4th Feb 2014, Tuesday

Jet Airlines Training At Leh

For pilots flying commercial jets into the Kushok Bakula Rimpochhe Airport in Leh, the toughest experience is not the landings and takeoffs but the training. The training mandated in order to certify pilots as qualified to operate on this airfield is several times tougher. Every pilot operating in and out of this airfield has to go through a training exercise that requires them to operate with only one of two engines operational. The training exercise is carried out at the Leh airport, making it the only airport in the country where such a training is required.

A senior pilot with Jet Airways, who has operated to Leh and is involved in training currently, said the training with only one engine (the other engine power is cut-off) and the pilot has to fly the plane over an escape flight path that flies over a river and smaller hills. The escape flight path is to be used for landing at the airport in case of any problem is reported with the aircraft. The objective is to acquaint the pilot with an escape route, which has minimum obstructions making its possible for the pilot to bring the aircraft back even with minimum power.

While the Leh airport is one of the highest airports in the world at an altitude of 3,256 metres (10,682 feet) above sea level, the altitude is just one of the problems. Added to that the complexity of the flight path, which is between the mountains, making it the most difficult civilian airport in the country.

Updated On: 14.02.05