Chinese airline pilot grounded for seating wife in cockpit


A pilot with Shenzhen-based Donghai Airlines has been fined 12,000 yuan (US$1,756) and grounded for six months pending further disciplinary action after he was seated his wife in the cockpit of a Boeing 737 jet on a flight that he commanded.

Chen Guosheng piloted Flight DZ6286 from Nantong in eastern Jiangsu province to Lanzhou in northwestern Gansu province, and the connecting flight from Lanzhou to Beijing on July 28, 2018. During the journey he reportedly allowed his wife, surnamed Wang, onto the flight deck on three occasions.

Chen was said to have ignored the strong dissenting views of fellow crew members and insisted on letting his wife into the cockpit.

Two co-pilots, a chief attendant and a security officer on board the flight also faced fines and were served warnings for their failure to “resolutely stop the severe violations,” the airline said.

The carrier apologized to passengers and pledged to review safety protocols and procedures for all its staff. However this only happened after China’s Civil Aviation Administration stepped in and made public the safety breach, which soon aroused anger in the media.

Some Internet commentators opined, however, that the senior flight purser should be rewarded rather than punished because she confronted a senior officer.

Before long, other professional violations by Chen came to light: on at least two separate occasions, he decided to initiate departure even though the actual passenger headcount on board was different from the flight manifest.