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Chinese pilot banned from flying after passenger cockpit photo

PETALING JAYA (Nov 5): Air Guilin banned a Chinese pilot from flying after a photo showing a female passenger in the cockpit went viral this week, the BBC reported today.

The airline said in a statement the pilot, who was not named, had violated air safety regulations by allowing irrelevant personnel into the cockpit.

He was banned from flying for life but the statement did not specify if he was fired from all roles by the airline.

The BBC quoting state media outlet The Global Times said the photo of a woman posing in the cockpit with refreshments laid out next to her was taken on an Air Guilin flight GT1011 from Guilin city to Yangzhou city on Jan 4.

The incident was brought to the airline's attention on Sunday after screenshots of the alleged passenger's post started being shared widely on micro-blogging site Weibo.

Citing news site Chinese News Service, the BBC said the woman is rumoured to be a flight attendant in training at a Guilin university.

Air Guilin did not say if the photo was taken in mid-flight, but Chinese pilots and analysts said the photo appears to have been taken during the flight.

According to the Civil Aviation Administration of China, passengers are not allowed to enter the cockpit without special approval or under "necessary" circumstances.

Other staff members involved in the incident have also been "suspended indefinitely" while further investigations are held.

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