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Pilot locked out of cockpit of Air India jet

Air India jet is diverted to Bhopal after pilot is locked out of cockpit, forcing the co-pilot to make an emergency landing.

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A man makes chapatis as an Air India passenger jet flies over the Jari Mari slum in Mumbai, India. (Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images)

An Air India pilot was locked out of the cockpit of an Airbus A320 headed from Delhi to Bangalore after he took a bathroom break, forcing his co-pilot to make an emergency landing in the city of Bhopal. 

The curious incident began Monday evening, when the pilot stepped out to use the restroom and found that the door had become jammed when he tried to re-enter the cockpit, and all efforts to open the door from both outside and inside failed, according to the Times of India.

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Without any other options, the trainee pilot behind the controls was forced to make an emergency landing in Bhopal, which was carried out safely. 

"All precautions and procedures regarding safety were observed during the entire process," said Air India in a statement, according to the Telegraph. "The incident posed no danger to the aircraft passengers and the crew."

Technicians in Bhopal were forced to enter the cockpit of Flight AI 403 through a window as the door was so badly jammed, added the Times of India — apparently because "a screw of the lock got loose and fell, jamming the lock," according to the Indian Directorate General of Civil Aviation. 

The flight got on its way to Bangalore three hours later, added the BBC, which noted that Air India, India's national carrier, had experienced earlier safety woes in January, when all its 787 Dreamliner jets were grounded for safety reasons. 

In another worrisome incident, four Air India employees were suspended after a pilot allegedly allowed two flight attendants to operate the plane as they napped. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/asia-pacific/india/130515/pilot-locked-out-cockpit-air-india-jet