New Delhi: An Air India pilot’s bid to prevent hair fall has, according to him, resulted in the suspension of his flying licence by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for three years as the alcohol in the treatment serum showed up in a breath analyser test conducted prior to operating a flight.
The incident occurred last year and the pilot has now challenged in the Delhi High Court the DGCA and Civil Aviation Ministry’s decisions to suspend him.
In his plea, he has said that the alcohol levels that showed up in the breath analyser (BA) test was 0.16 and 0.20 which was below the international permissible standards of 0.40.
The petitioner has contended that the blood and urine tests, immediately conducted by him from a private lab on the same day as the breath analyser (BA) test, did not show any alcohol in his system.
Why DGCA suspended him
The DGCA, which had in May 2018 suspended him for three years, told the court that its standard for permissible alcohol levels was 0.0.
It also said that the pilot had once in the past also tested positive for alcohol before a pre-flight BA test and he had back then claimed that it was due to the consumption of cough syrup.
The pilot had initially appealed against his three-year suspension before the ministry which, in April this year, upheld the DGCA decision.
Subsequently, he moved the high court against his suspension.
The high court has issued a notice to the ministry and DGCA seeking their stand on the pilot’s plea.
Taking note of the low level of alcohol which showed up in the test, the court observed that the pilot may not have necessarily been drunk.
The science behind the case
Cetyl alcohol, used in the preparation of some hair care products, is produced from either petroleum or palm oil. It helps thicken the formula and prevents the oils and water from separating.
The International Journal of Trichology informs, “Creme rinses contain cationic surfactants, long-chain fatty alcohol or other lipid components. Cationic polymers, such as polyquaternarium-10, are used, too. Examples of lipids are cetyl alcohol, stearyl alcohol or silicones such as dimethicone. Deep conditioners contain more concentrated ingredients or just more viscosity. Some polymers are reported to build-up the hair and bind to anionic surfactants. The complex resists shampooing from hair. Creme rinses are supposed to be rinsed with water. Setting lotions or mousse known as leave-on products are designed to be applied on wet hair or dry hair and left without rinsing. They are aqueous based or alcohol-water solvent systems. These products do not form rigid bonds and act by enhancing interfiber forces and by providing a detangling effect to facilitate combing and style retention.”