Airline pilots grounded after 30,000ft cockpit row

Two pilots have been suspended for six months following a row between them in the cockpit during a flight.

Two pilots grounded for six months following an incident over work in the China  United Airlines cockpit

Two pilots grounded for six months following an incident over work in the China United Airlines cockpit Image by byeangel / CC BY 2.0

The in-flight fracas on China United Airlines flared after an argument began over work. China's Civil Airline Administration has reduced the finance to the carrier and banned it from introducing more flights or routes following a number of safety breaches, culminating with the 30,000ft clash of airmen.

The Chinese regulator instanced three “severe” violations of safety – one of which was flying below the minimum safe altitude while on another occasion a plane continued a journey when it was “unsuitable to fly”.

However the Daily Star reports that the inspection of the airline also found 50 issues of poor management.

The Airline admitted that the "physical clash" between the pilots in the cockpit happened in mid-air, adding that it had undertaken corrective work.

The Beijing-based carrier has numerous routes between the major Chinese cities, including Guangzhou and Shanghai.

The airline faced criticism only last month when a passenger opened the emergency door in a plane, forcing a delay of four hours.

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