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April 2, 2016

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Pilot grounded over Weibo broadcast

AN Air China pilot was suspended after using an iPad to brag to viewers on the social networking platform Weibo that he was about to taxi down the runway for a flight to Rome, said the company yesterday.

The broadcast from the account “90000xiaobao” drew heavy criticism from some viewers, who said he should be fired for wasting time that should have been spent doing preflight checks.

“A pilot is cool when he is working hard, not when pretending to be cool,” commented one user.

“Why are passengers asked to turn off their digital devices while pilots don’t have to?” another one asked.

Others, however, gushed about how handsome he was and sent him virtual gifts.

The pilot also posted pictures of himself wearing a pilot uniform and sunglasses. However, Shanghai Daily found “90000xiaobao” had already deleted his posts by yesterday afternoon.

Air China released a statement confirming the man was a newly employed copilot, but did not identify him.

The company assured that he had been punished for failing to focus on preparations for takeoff, which is a serious violation of the airline’s rules.

It added that the suspension would give him time to contemplate his actions and that the matter would be discussed in pilot training sessions.


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