TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- On Wednesday (Feb. 20), EBC News released video footage of a pilot sleeping in the cockpit of an airborne China Airlines (CAL) flight.
In the video, a pilot in uniform can be seen sitting motionless in the cockpit of a CAL 747 with his head slumped forward, clearly in a state of deep sleep. According to Taiwan's Civil Aviation Law, it is illegal for a pilot to sleep in the cockpit while the a plane is aloft.
The pilot was identified as a chief training captain for CAL's 747s, setting a bad example for his subordinates. He was criticized for not following standard operating procedure as the pilot in command.
In response to the video, a CAL pilot interviewed by EBC News said, "It's not surprising, fatigue is inevitable, but as a senior officer, you should set an example. Second, if you are really too tired, in fact, you can tell crew members with you to observe your condition."
According to a source familiar with the matter, the pilot accepted punishment for the incident, CAL has been fined, and the pilot who shot the video has also been reprimanded.
The chief training captain, who has nearly 20 years of experience, pilots routes to Tokyo, Okinawa, Seoul, and Hong Kong. He also serves as an instructor and is responsible for simulator exams.
As for the captain's behavior after the incident, the pilot who spoke to EBC News said, "He knew he was wrong, so he asked for a warning. It wasn't very serious. So when he administered the simulator exam later, he failed a lot of people. maybe he wanted to get revenge because he didn't know who reported him."
Ironically, this video surfaced only five days after a strike by over 600 of the CAL's pilots, whose main complaint was reducing the problem of overwork and fatigue.
Airline officials told the news site that the incident had taken place before the pilot strike, and the negligent pilot had already been punished in accordance with regulations. The co-pilot was also been reprimanded for not immediately waking the captain and instead shooting video.
The airline said that it attaches great importance to flight safety, and those who violated the regulations were severely punished.