rtr1pgsg.jpgSometime ago a passenger in the United States was off-loaded when she jokingly asked the cabin crew if the pilots were sober.

But as a frequent flier I wonder if it’s an impertinent question to ask Indian pilots.

Why? Sample this: Around 50 pilots each year in India are grounded because they had consumed alcohol before flying, the country’s civil aviation authorities say.

This year around 20 pilots have already been grounded for a brief period.

As if pilots who love their bottle were not enough, last week we had a gaggle of monitor lizards, jackals and birds saunter on the Delhi airport runway, delaying around 100 flights.

And not to speak of mid-air near-misses that we keep reading about in newspapers because of cramped airspace, lack of runways and increasing air traffic.