Two pilots have been suspended for a fight over a meal tray that turned bloody.
An Iraqi Airways flight heading for Baghdad with 157 passengers onboard encountered a problem during meal service.
According to the first officer, who later defended himself in a letter to Iraqi Airways staff:
Conversation with the pilot became heated because he forbade a flight attendant from bringing me a meal tray, under the pretext that I hadn’t asked him for authorization.
The first officer added that the pilot then began to hit and insult him, “forcing” him to respond in self-defense.
But it takes two to tango. Security guards had to break up the fight, which apparently caused damage to the cockpit.
The Iraqi Ministry of Transportation issued a statement on the flight with a stern warning against the pilots:
They will have no chance of escaping harsh penalties, and will face the worst and most severe punishments, the least of which is the denial of flight for life.
Keep in mind Iraqi Airways is currently banned from the European Union for safety reasons. Those have to do with aircraft maintenance, not the conduct of pilots.
Before we laugh at Iraqi Airways, let’s not forget this sort of thing happens around the world. Throw in a dash of machismo and a pinch of pride and it is no surprise fights like these flare up from time to time in the constrained area of a cockpit. We need more female pilots!
image: Anna Zvereva / FLICKR