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Girlfriend in cockpit gets airline pilot grounded

Date Posted: 2002-10-26

A Japan Trans Ocean Airlines captainís desire to impress his girlfriend got him grounded when the airline management found out about the incident. According to company officials, the captain had invited his girlfriend to sit behind him in the airlinerís cockpit as it was flying on a regular route from Naha to Miyako Island. After spending a night in Miyako, the captain flew the dayís first scheduled flight back to Naha, and again the girlfriend sat behind him. The co-pilot reportedly protested on the way to Miyako that it was against regulations to have an outside in the cockpit during the flight but the captain told him to shut up.

The incident, that reportedly took place three months ago in August came to light only recently. On Oct. 18, the airline announced punitive actions against the captain. He was suspended 60 days from his job, and lost his captainís credentials for six months. The company also ordered the captainís supervisor to take a 10 percent pay-cut for two months as he failed to keep required discipline. Finally, the Minister of National Land and Transportation Agency handed the captain a letter of reprimand.

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