Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Pilot in trouble as 10 year-old flies the plane

You could be forgiven if you thought pilots were getting younger and younger if you've seen a recent video doing the rounds on social media.  It features a smartly dressed young man in a white shirt, black waistcoat, tie and trousers and topping it off with a captain’s hat.  The young chap is eager when he's invited to sit in the captain’s seat mid-flight on the Air Algeria plane, and what 10 year-old wouldn't be?

In a video of the incident, the young chap can be seen manipulating the controls and pushing buttons on the flight between Algiers Houari Boumediene International Airport and Setif Regional Airport. Speaking after the flight, the (real) pilot commended the boy: "He was very disciplined, calm and attentive. I am sure he will be a good pilot.”

The pilots even gave the young boy a tour of the different parts of the plane, pointing out the mechanical workings of the wheels and examining the jet's exterior before take off.  The lad who hopes to one day become a pilot, was even instructed how to operate the complex cockpit.

The report on Algerian television channel Al Bilad TV, the pilot states that the child was able to manipulate the aircraft - in strict violation of all civil aviation regulations.

However, as soon as the images and videos were released, the two pilots in charge were suspended from duties pending an investigation into the incident. Having children in the cockpit is against the rules let alone being able to touch the controls and move the aircraft. 

For many it will bring back memories of Aeroflot Flight 593 on 24th March 1994 when a 12 year-old girl and a 16 year-old boy were allowed to sit in the pilot's seat. The boy, son of the pilot, had inadvertently disengaged some functions of the auto-pilot causing the aircraft to bank and eventually crash with the loss of all 75 people onboard. 

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