Pilot Sacked After Fly-by Stunt

A British pilot has been sacked after performing a low-flying stunt with a brand new Boeing 777. Captain Ian Wilkinson flew the Cathay Pacific plane within 28 feet of the ground with its undercarriage raised, at Boeing’s Seattle airfield.

The aircraft was on its delivery flight and packed with the airline’s VIPs.

The airline said Capt Wilkinson, 55, had not sought or obtained permission for the fly-by on January 30, and had been dismissed. The co-pilot, Ray Middleton, has also been “subject to disciplinary actions” – understood to be suspension from training duties for six months.

Pictures of the huge aircraft flying just feet from the ground were posted on websites including YouTube.

The airline said: “We can confirm a fly-by event involving the delivery flight of a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft departing from the manufacturer’s plant in Seattle on January 30, 2008.

“The airline is conducting an internal investigation into the incident, including the collection of flight data, and interviews with the crew involved.”

The pilot involved Mr Wilkinson said “ we were just having a laugh that’s all. I just wanted some of my mates in the pub to see me flying it. The whole thing has been blown out of all proportion ‘.

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