A pilot from Chinese airline Air Guilin received a lifetime ban on Nov. 4 for allowing a young female passenger to enter the cockpit mid-flight.
Photo of woman in cockpit went viral
On Sunday, Nov. 3, a photo of the woman inside the cockpit went viral on Chinese website Weibo after an aviation blogger posted a screenshot of the woman's post.
The original photo of the woman shows her sitting and posing inside the cockpit, with a tea set on the table in front of her.
According to China Daily, her caption said: "Many thanks to the captain. It's so thrilling."
The woman was later identified as Chen Yuying, a third-year student at Guilin Tourism University, who wants to be a flight attendant after she graduates, reported South China Morning Post.
Pilot violated air safety rules
Air Guilin issued an official statement on Nov. 4 regarding the incident.
The airline confirmed that the incident happened on Jan. 4, 2019 on a flight from Guilin to Yangzhou, Jiangsu province.
It added that the pilot violated operating procedures and air safety regulations when he let the woman enter the cockpit.
According to SCMP, China’s civil aviation regulations only allow passengers in the cockpit if their entry is approved and necessary for the flight's safety.
Pilot and crew members suspended from flying
Air Guilin stated that the unnamed pilot has been banned from flying for life.
Other crew members are also suspended indefinitely pending further investigations.
"Air Guilin always attaches great importance to passengers’ safety, and we have ‘zero tolerance’ for any improper and unprofessional conduct that may jeopardise aviation safety."
Top photo from Weibo.