Foreign Affairs
Chinese pilot banned from flying for life after unauthorised visit inside cockpit

A Chinese pilot has been banned for life from flying planes, after a female passenger uploaded a photo of her sitting on the pilot seat’s inside the cockpit.

The pilot, who is a captain, ended up in huge ​​trouble, after the woman posed for a photograph, which was later shared on social media. In the photo she appears seated on the seat on the left side of the cockpit, usually reserved for the captain. There was also some food and drink in front of her, and accompanying the photo were the words, “I’m so happy, thanks to the captain!”

It would seem that the photograph was taken last January on a flight from Guilin to Yangzhou, operated by Air Guilin. In a statement, the Chinese airline said the pilot had disobeyed air safety regulations. Although the case took place many months ago, the airline only became aware of it last Sunday, after receiving a copy of the photo.

Apparently the woman is training to be a flight attendant.

The airline Guilin, meanwhile, did not specify whether the photo was taken while the aircraft was on the ground or in flight, but analysts and Chinese pilots indicate that the latter scenario is more likely.

The pilot, whose name was not disclosed to the media, has been permanently prohibited from flying. However it is not known whether he was expelled from all roles he occupies with the airline. Air Guilin said that the decision was taken on the basis that the safety of passengers and other crew members is paramount, and the pilot fell short of this when he allowed extraneous and irrelevant people inside his cockpit.

According to the laws of Chinese Civil Aviation Administration, passengers may only enter the cockpit in special circumstances.

Other aircraft and cabin crew members who were involved in the incident were likewise suspended.

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