Raw video:Released Feb 25/08...A British pilot has been fired after doing a fly-by with a new Boeing 777-330ER at Paine Field in Everett,Seattle last month.
SEATTLE - A British pilot has been fired after doing a fly-by with a new Boeing 777-330ER at Paine Field in Everett last month.
British newspapers report that Captain Ian Wilkinson, 55, flew the Cathay Pacific jet at 300 mph just 28 feet above the ground without landing gear in a ceremonial fly-by on a delivery flight.
Several VIPs - including airline executives and Hong Kong lawmakers - were aboard.
The incident occurred on Jan. 30, when the airplane, the sixth of 30 777-300ERs for delivery to Cathay Pacific, was unveiled at a pre-flight ceremony at the Future of Flight Aviation Center in Everett.
The London Telegraph reported that passengers were "said to be stunned into silence," while people on the ground cheered, and that Wilkinson later toasted the flight with champagne.
"Pilots love to show off, we all do," said aviation expert John Nance. He says for an experienced pilot, the stunt shouldn't have been all that dangerous, but it's an unnecessary risk.
"The problem is, if we let people just do anything they want, then eventually they're going to press and press, it's human nature, until someone gets into an accident," he said.
Cathay Pacific fired Wilkinson after the video of the stunt showed up on the internet. The airline says the pilot didn't have approval to perform the maneuver.
Fly-by's are traditionally done at about 400 to 500 feet.
While the pilot alerted air traffic control of his low-flying stunt, an FAA spokesperson says the agency is now investigating the incident.
|Liveleak on Facebook|