Chinese Pilot Filmed Asleep At The Controls Of A Passenger Jet
A pilot has been punished after being filmed having a wee kip in the cockpit of his passenger jet.
Now, I don't know about you, but if I were on a plane, I'd really like my pilot to stay awake as much as possible.
However, the 30-second clip - filmed by the co-pilot - shows the pilot of a Boeing 747 slumped in his chair with his head forward having a nap, mid-flight.
Obviously, some flights are really long, and you can't expect a pilot to be awake and alert for the whole of a 16-hour flight, but still. Passengers don't need to see the man in charge of the plane - and, by extension, their lives - having a doze.
The pilot shown in the footage has since been identified as Weng Jiaqi, who is a senior officer for China Airlines. According to local reports, he's got 20 years of experience. You'd think, then, that he'd know better.
The timing of this particular video is interesting, too. It surfaced onto the Internet just a couple of days after China Airlines ended a strike. What were they striking about? Well, they were concerned about long working hours and pilot fatigue.
Coincidence? I think not.
Obviously, we don't know exactly when the footage was taken, but the airline has since stated that it was filmed before the recent strikes happened.
Interestingly enough, Weng is thought to be the most senior Boeing 747 pilot that is employed by the airline - which is Taiwan's national airline - with two decades of flying under his belt.
He also works as an instructor, bringing the new recruits up to speed on the simulator at the China Airlines Fight Training Centre.
Accused of ignoring flight safety protocol, the pilot has since 'received adequate punishment' for his actions, according to a statement from China Airlines.
The statement read: "Fatigue is inevitable. But as a senior officer, the pilot should have set a good example for his subordinates.
"If the pilot was really too tired, he could have alerted crew members and have them observe your condition."
On top of that, the co-pilot has also been reprimanded for not waking his pilot up.
According to the rules, pilots are allowed to sleep on long flights. They have to sit way back in their chairs and not be anywhere near the controls, though.
Also, the Taiwan Civil Aviation Bureau states that pilots must have at least a whole day off after flying for more than 12 hours.
Featured Image Credit: AsiaWire