Turkish pilot fired for letting 15-year-old fly plane, airline says

Earlier this month I posted on a faux controversy involving an Australian flight attendant for an airline called Jetstar who was in hot water after “posing as a pilot.” What she really did was occupy the captain’s seat while he went to the restroom, something only slightly beyond what is done normally (flight attendants sit in the cockpit all the time when one of the pilots takes a bathroom break, though they’re usually not allowed in the captain’s seat).

Now I read in today’s Berliner Zeitung a story that really does seem to warrant disciplinary action (if it’s true).

A Turkish pilot for an airline called Anadolujet has been fired for letting a 15-year-old take control of the aircraft while he went to use the bathroom!

Well, that’s at least the official line the airline is giving. The captain says he merely let the boy sit in his seat while he went to the restroom; the co-pilot was actually the one in control of the plane.

How did the teen even get into the cockpit? He was apparently a plane junky, had practiced on a flight simulator, and asked if he could observe the captain and ask him questions. The pilot agreed and invited him back to the cockpit.

The captain landed in trouble after he snapped a picture of the kid sitting in his seat. You guessed it: the picture went on the Internet.

I’d like to think the captain wasn’t so stupid as to actually let this kid fly the plane when he was away (in other words, I don’t buy the airline’s official complaint). Still, it probably wasn’t smart for him to even let the kid take his seat. Snapping a photo of the whole thing was just dumb.

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