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A pilot for Chinese airline Donghai was recently suspended for six months and fined $1,750 for letting his wife enter the cockpit of the plane he was flying not once –but twice.
Mr. Chen, the pilot for the Shenzhen-based airline, was flying from Nantong, Jiangsu province, to Lanzhou, Gansu, with a stop in Zhengzhou, Henan, and then from Lanzhou to Beijing on July 28 when the incident happened. According to the South China Morning Post, the airline “did not say at what stage the woman was in the cockpit or how long she had spent there.”
Chen’s wife was ticketed for the Nantong –> Zhengzhou leg of the flight, but not the trip onto Lanzhou or the flight to Beijing. In addition to being suspended and fined, Chen was also ordered to repay the cost of the skipped airfare.
According to a statement read in court, Chen “violated operating procedures and air safety regulations,” and “abused his rights as a pilot, overlooked the rules and the bottom line, and acted against the advice of others.” The pilot’s “qualifications as a flying instructor with the company” have also been revoked.
Chen’s co-pilots were also suspended for 15 days and fined 6,000 yuan, as well as a flight safety officer who is facing a 500 yuan fine. The airline says it will work to “improve safety measures to prevent a similar incident from happening in the future.”
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