BA pilot 'threw mobile phone from aircraft cockpit window' just moments before take off

Discussion in 'British Airways | Executive Club' started by sobore, Jun 26, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. sobore
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    sobore Gold Member

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    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/art...ew-mobile-phone-cockpit-just-moments-off.html

    A British Airways captain has been questioned by police after allegedly throwing a mobile phone from his cockpit window just moments before take-off.

    The incident on Friday evening led to the jet being grounded as the pilot and his crew were removed.
    Airline sources say the pilot became annoyed after being told he had to return to the airport gate to hand in the mobile.
    And in an attempt to take off as quickly as possible, he simply chucked the phone out of the cockpit window.

    But airport officials refused to let the aircraft leave Edinburgh Airport for Gatwick and his actions had the opposite effect – delaying the flight by three hours.
    The pilot is now facing an investigation by the airline and possible disciplinary action.
     
  2. SC Flier
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    SC Flier Gold Member

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    Did the phone get to its rightful owner? And was it still in one piece?
     
  3. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    While an unfortuate outcome, this doesn't strike me as ridiculous.

    You have a discovered unclaimed electronic item on an airplane. People who make nefarious plans often use mobile phones as a tool (though they are usually attached to something sinister). Nevertheless, odd to find, and in a day where your are sternly warned not to take carry on items from strangers, it was far from a ridiculous direction to have the found item removed from the plane.

    Now, throwing the phone out of the cockpit window, even in a bag, also isn't the best move. Who knows what type of bag it was, and if it was sealed. In general, airports wisely like to keep runways and taxiways free of debris. Having this on the ground, in one piece, or dozens, simply isn't a good thing at any airport.

    Finally, that a pilot would act intentionally and directly contrary to a direct instruction from a controller is also a bad fact. A general rule of flight is "always trust the controller." I don't think there is an absolute rule that you must always do exactly what the controller says no matter what (for example, I believe onboard acas instructions override controller instructions, though am not 100% sure of this), this wasn't a "turn right, no turn left" type debate.

    An alternate compromise might have been for the BA plane to pull to the side and have a company truck come out to meet the plane and take the phone at the door - rather than risking electronic debris on the runway/taxiway.

    I struggle with this being grounds for sacking...but I did have to think about it for a while...but certainly a stern and written warning to the cockpit crew involved would be in order.

    What are others' thoughts?
     
  4. SC Flier
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    SC Flier Gold Member

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    According to the article, the pilot proposed this, but the compromise was rejected by traffic control. From the article:

    Moments earlier he'd asked air traffic control to get a member of the ground crew to come to the end of the runway and get the phone from him.​

    They refused and told him to return to the gate, but he ignored that and just threw it out.​
     
  5. NYBanker
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    NYBanker Gold Member

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    Yes, the pilot suggested this.
     

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