SIA captain, stewardess grounded after she sat in first officer’s chair and he took photo of her
Singapore Airlines (SIA) said the happened on Jan 12, 2019, during SIA Flight SQ207 to Melbourne.
SINGAPORE – A Singapore Airlines (SIA) captain has been grounded since Feb 1 after he allowed a stewardess to sit on the first officer’s chair and took a photo for her.
The cabin crew has also been grounded, The Straits Times found out.
When questioned, the pilot said that the cabin crew was on the chair to help clean some stains on the cockpit window.
Confirming the incident, SIA said it happened on Jan 12 during SIA Flight SQ207 to Melbourne.
At the time, the cabin crew was in the cockpit to clear the in-flight meal trays.
Said the airline’s spokesman: “The cabin crew sat on the First Officer’s seat in order to reach the stains (on the cockpit window). Subsequently, she requested for a photo of herself in the seat, to which the Captain obliged.”
SIA stressed that there was no breach of security within the cockpit.
Still, in accordance with the airline’s standard procedures, the captain and cabin crew have been grounded “while we look into the matter”, said its spokesman.
It is not clear how long the two will remain off flying duties.
Commercial pilots and cabin crew The Straits Times spoke to said that as a general rule, cabin crew do not occupy the pilots’ seats, for safety reasons.
Said a cabin crew who declined to be named: “It’s not about security but safety. The cockpit is full of controls, levers and buttons so we are always very mindful and careful when we step inside.
“Even when serving the pilots their meals, we are careful to serve from the outside. So for the captain who sits on the left, we serve from his left and for the first officer, it’s from the right. We never stand in front of the controls.”
Typically, each cockpit has four seats – two in front for the captain and first officer, and two observer seats behind them.
These seats are reserved for a third or fourth pilot on long flights, and can also be occupied for take-off and landing by technical observers authorised by the airline or representatives from regulatory bodies.
In some situations, cabin crew who are newly trained are allowed to sit in the observer seats, so that they get a better understanding of the critical phases of flight. source