Senior chief pilot filmed sleeping at controls of plane

A senior chief pilot has been filmed sleeping in the cockpit of his Boeing 747 – the pilot, who has nearly 20 years of flight experience, was captured in the act by his co-pilot.

The video shows the chief officer with his eyes closed and his head down as he sits in the main seat of the cockpit.

He has not been named but he is said to be the airline’s most senior Boeing 747 pilot, and mainly flies the Tokyo, Okinawa, Seoul and Hong Kong routes. 

The chief pilot is also an instructor in charge of simulations at the China Airlines Flight Training Center. The video surfaced just days after China Airlines pilots ended a seven-day strike over issues including pilot fatigue and long working hours.

Taiwan’s flag carrier, which has its headquarters in Taoyuan International Airport, has responded to the incident saying the clip was filmed before the most recent strikes took place.

Meanwhile, the unnamed pilot has received “adequate punishment” for ignoring flight safety procedures, a statement from China Airlines said.

China Airlines has also suggested the co-pilot who filmed and released the video may also be punished for choosing to record the clip instead of waking his senior officer up.

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