Singapore, Jan 1: A senior pilot working for AirAsia Indonesia was suspended after he was tested positive for drugs, days after one of the airline's planes with 162 people on board crashed into the Java Sea.
"I would like to clarify that one of our pilots in a random preliminary drug test was found to be positive," airline president director Sunu Widyatmoko said. "As a consequence, the pilot cannot fly pending further investigation," he said.
But the pilot is one the one who operated doomed AirAsia Indonesia Flight QZ8501, Indonesian news agency Antara quoted Sunu as saying. He said that AirAsia will conduct further tests with the cooperation of the National Narcotics Agency and the hospital of drug addiction to analyse the test results of the pilot who has been identified as FI.
Sunu noted that interrogations have found that the pilot had been suffering from typhoid. He was hospitalised from December 26 to 29, 2014.
"The pilot is still on medication and is taking drugs such as actifet (cough and flu medicine), which has a peculiar composition," he affirmed.
Sunu emphasised that the pilot has been working with AirAsia for nine years and has a good track record.
"He is a senior pilot, married, and has a family," he pointed out.
Sunu explained that AirAsia's management has conducted medical examination on all of its crew members after the QZ8501 crash.