n Air Guilin pilot has been suspended from ever leaving the ground again after inviting a young woman into his plane’s cockpit during a flight earlier this year.
Over the weekend, an image went viral on Chinese social media showing the woman sitting at the pilot’s seat while flashing a peace sign to the camera. Those with flight experience commented that the picture appears to have been taken while the plane was in the air.
“Thanks so much to the flight captain!! I’m really happy,” reads the caption above the photo.
In a statement, Air Guilin admitted that the incident took place on one of its planes on January 4 on a flight from Guilin to Yangzhou without specifying when exactly the woman entered the cockpit.
For violating Civil Aviation Administration of China regulations, the flight captain has been fired by the airline and suspended from ever flying again. Meanwhile, other crew members on the flight have been suspended indefinitely while an investigation is ongoing.
It’s unclear what sort of punishment Air Guilin itself will receive but China’s People’s Daily has already released a scathing editorial, noting that the incident happened all the way back in January and asking rhetorically how any passenger could trust the airline with their lives after they so mishandled this situation.
Meanwhile, it’s been rumored that the woman had once studied to be a flight attendant at a college in Guilin.