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Old August 15th, 2016, 09:32 AM
JAshley JAshley is offline
Recent Photo: potm5
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Military Pilot Court-Martialed After Camera Gets Stuck In Controls

A military pilot is being court-martialed and the Ministry of Defence is being sued after pilot’s personal camera caused a military transport aircraft to plummet 4,400 feet (1,341 metres).

Almost 200 passengers were on board the Voyager aircraft flying from the UK to Afghanistan in February 2014 when the incident occurred. The pilot’s Nikon camera fell and became lodged between the armrest and side stick controller, causing the aircraft to plummet at a rate of 15,800 feet per minute (4815.84 meters per minute) towards the sea.

It took 27 seconds before the pilot regained control of the plane but due to the rapid descent the pilot, co-pilot – who was not in the cockpit at the time – and the passengers experienced weightlessness and were thrown against the roof of the cabin. To get back into the cockpit the co-pilot planted his feet on the roof of the cabin and pushed himself through the air towards the controllers.

Nine soldiers allege to have suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder following the incident. A major, warrant officer, two staff sergeants, four corporals and one civilian employee – three of whom were medically discharged following the incident – are suing the military of Defence for putting them at risk. Thirty three other minor injuries were reported, but many still suffer trauma after fears they were being shot at.

The pilot will face a court-martial in February for perjury, making a false record and negligently performing a duty. The captain had taken 28 photographs of the flight deck between eight and three minutes before the incident according to a report by The Military Aviation Authority. The report also stated that the camera placed between the armrest and control created a hazard and the pilot created ‘a realistic potential for the loss of the aircraft and 198 of our people.’

According to strict aviation guidelines, pilots are banned from using personal electronic devices in the cockpit from the moment the door is closed, until the plane is at cruising altitude or above 10,000 feet (3,000 metres) and again on the way down until stationary. The Federal Aviation Authority states “FAA regulations prohibit commercial pilots from using a personal wireless communications device or laptop computer for personal use while at their duty station on the flight deck while the aircraft is being operated. A personal wireless device may only be used if it is directly related to operation of the aircraft, or for emergency, safety-related, or employment-related communications, in accordance with air carrier procedures.”

This usually doesn’t stop pilots from snapping a few pictures, as we’ve seen before, though maybe this incident will be a lesson to them to be more careful with their devices in future.

Via DigitalRev
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