What Russian Woman Evgenia Belskaia Said On Viral IndiGo Video

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'Pilot Blamed Us Passengers': What Russian Woman Said On Viral IndiGo Video

The Russian actress condemned the shocking act of physical assault.

New Delhi:

The eyewitness, who recorded the viral video of an IndiGo pilot being physically assaulted by a passenger on board the aircraft, has revealed the circumstances that led to the incident.

Evgenia Belskaia, a Russian model and actress based in India, was onboard the IndiGo flight (6E-2175) from Delhi to Goa. The flight was delayed for 13 hours at the Delhi airport yesterday, which led to a furore among passengers against the crew and the pilots over the long delay.

Eyewitness Account

Ms Belsakaia said, “I was flying her team to Goa from Delhi and reached the airport early to board the flight, which was scheduled to take off at 7:40 am. The IndiGo team was saying that the flight had been delayed by an hour. It went on for at least 10 hours until we were allowed to board the plane.”

“After boarding the aircraft, we were told that the flight had been delayed by two hours. The passengers were angry and started asking questions from the crew and the pilot,” she added.

The Russian actress condemned the shocking act of physical assault but partly blamed the pilot for aggravating the situation. “The pilot came and said you are asking too many questions and we missed our turn because of this.” The eyewitness said the “Pilot blamed the passengers for the delay”.

In the viral video recorded by Ms Belsakaia, a man in a yellow hoodie ran up from the last row and hit Anup Kumar, the flight’s co-pilot, who was announcing a further delay. The accused has been identified as Sahil Kataria.

“It’s wrong to hit the pilot, but why is he blaming the passengers? Everyone was nervous and instead of supporting them you made it worse,” Evgenia said in her video message.

“You Can’t Do This”

The accused, Sahil Kataria, tried to punch the co-pilot, Anup Kumar, and the cabin crew rushed to help the pilot and told the accused, “You can’t do this…you can’t do this!”. To this, Mr Kataria said, “Why can’t I do this? Why can’t I”.

“Chalana hai to chala, warna gate khol” (fly if you want to, otherwise open the gate), the accused said after hitting Mr Kumar. The pilot has filed a complaint against him and the airline is currently in the process of filing an official case.

The flier later apologised to the pilot on the tarmac after he deboarded from the plane and said, “Sir, I am sorry,” to which the pilot said, “No sorry, you raised hands on me”.

What Are The Protocols

Commercial aviation protocols state that departure slots will only be assigned once the plane’s doors are shut and the sooner they are locked the quicker each plane will be allowed to depart. This is why airlines sometimes board earlier than indicated on their schedules.

Also, according to aviation protocols, once a plane’s doors are shut the passengers may not leave the flight. There are multiple reasons for this, including security. Passengers who disembark will go back into the terminal and must pass baggage checks a second time, which will create more delays.

In this case, it was not and the earlier delays – caused at least partly by bad weather – triggered a further delay since a new crew had to be assigned to the plane. According to FDTL norms, or flight duty time limitation, cabin and flight crews can only work a fixed number of hours at a time.

Anup Kumar, the captain attacked by Sahil Kataria, was part of the replacement crew.

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