2 Pilots Suspended After Letting 10 Year Old Take Controls of a Commercial Flight

In 1994 Aeroflot flight SU593 from Moscow to Hong Kong crashed into mountains in South Siberia after the pilot’s 16 year old son accidentally disengaged autopilot control of the Airbus A310’s ailerons. That sent the plane into a near vertical dive. While the pilot leveled off the plane, he stalled the aircraft while pulling up.

And that’s why unauthorized passengers don’t sit in the cockpit during flight. Pilots aren’t supposed to let attractive passengers join them up front. Even when the passenger is a porn star. Or a Playboy Bunny.

Two Air Algérie pilots teamed up with Algerian news channel El Bilad to fulfill a 10 year old orphan’s dreams of flying a plane.

It was one thing for the boy to dress up as a pilot and play in the cockpit while on the ground (although many airlines would be uncomfortable with the child pressing buttons). It’s another thing though when, for the sake of filming, they let the 10 year old take the controls during a flight.

Here’s the news broadcast:

When the video aired the airline discovered what happened and suspended the pilots.

(HT: Paul H.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Yes. As they should have.

    Who are the PR geniuses at this airline that arranged for all this to be going on in the cockpit during a flight in the first place? That’s at least 3 extra people in the cockpit.

  2. Was this a ‘real’ flight with passengers, or simply a flight for the sole benefit of a sick child? If it was an actual flight, yes outrage should happen. However if this was a flight simply for the benefit of letting a sick child “fly” a plane while two real pilots hovered over him……….I actually would say good for the pilots.

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