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Home > Profession > Why was Boeing 777 pilot sacked for the low fly-by at Seattle?
Why was Boeing 777 pilot sacked for the low fly-by at Seattle?
Flying - Profession
Monday, 25 February 2008 06:54

Dear Captain Lim,

I have just read on the Web-News that Cathay Pacific decided to sack the senior pilot of the new Boeing 777 which flew from Seattle to Hong Kong because he did a turn around and performed a low fly-by before departing.  He went as low as 28 feet above the runway.

Do you know what happened? I think there must be some reasons for such an experienced pilot to do what he did.

Regards,

Anthony

Hi Anthony,

Yes, I am aware of the incident as it is widely publicized in most newspapers.

According to a Cathay Pacific spokesman, the fly-by was approved by the air traffic controllers in Seattle but not by the airline. That was the main reason why the senior pilot, Captain Wilkinson was sacked.

One senior pilot from the airline said, "If no one else had found out about it, the incident would probably have gone no further. But once it began circulating on the Internet and Hong Kong's Civil Aviation Department got wind of it, that was the end of him."

"Maiden flights are treated as a bit of a jolly for executives with lots of champagne flowing and these fly-bys used to be done for a wheeze in the old days."

"But they are dangerous because however good the pilot thinks he is, he isn't trained for it and the planes aren't designed for it."

"Wilkinson was showing off, and most of the pilots might be sympathetic but they feel he got what he deserved when he was sacked."

Please see a video link here

a. Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 low Fly-By at Seattle

...plus a smaller video clip of the Boeing 777 fly-by and another one on cross wind landing below...

b. Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300 low Fly-By at Seattle
Cathay Pacific Boeing 777 landing at Kai Tak Airport

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Cathay Boeing 777 Captain loses appeal..
For the latest on the above, please click on "Daredevil Cathay Pacific pilot loses appeal over Boeing low swoop"
Captain Lim , 19 Apr, 2008
Fly-Bys
Dear Captain Lim,

What is the reason of a fly-by? Is it after a missed approach? Sort of like a go around or is there an other reason?

Thank you,
Alex M.
Alex M. , 06 May, 2010
...
Dear Captain Lim,
What is the reason of a fly-by? Is it after a missed approach? Sort of like a go around or is there an other reason?

Thank you,
Alex M.
Alex M. , 06 May, 2010

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