Iraqi Airways has suspended two of its pilots for reportedly getting into a mid-air brawl over a food tray. It is important to mention the plane was mid-air at the time with more than 150 passengers on board the international flight.
The two men started fighting one another in the pilots’ cockpit on a flight to the capital city of Baghdad from the Iranian city of Mashhad when the plane was reportedly cruising at 37,000 feet (11,277 meters).
The incident, which occurred at such an unusual time and place, soon caught attention of the management and the pilots had to give their accounts of what really happened in a letter to the airline.
“Conversation with the pilot became heated because he forbade an air hostess from bringing me a meal tray, under the pretext that I hadn’t asked him for authorization,”wrote one of the two pilots.
According to the letter, after the pilot had taken his own meal, he “hit and insulted [the co-pilot], prompting the arrival of a security agent.”
Though the plan landed safely, the two continued to fight on the ground and “the pilot again hit and insulted” the co-pilot, the letter claimed.
“I had to defend myself,” said his colleague, the co-pilot, admitting he also lashed out.
Meanwhile, Iraqi Airways said the duo were under investigation following the ruckus that could have had dire consequences.
“The transport ministry has opened an investigation with the two pilots who argued with each other in-flight,” the company said.
The airline also warned the two employees “will not escape the toughest sanctions… such as a lifetime flying ban.”
It completely makes sense for the pilots to face strict disciplinary actions as it was highly unprofessional of them to fight over something so trivial when they were in a middle of a flight. A momentary lapse of attention could have turned the situation uglier and jeopardized the lives of hundreds of people on board– and that too because of a food tray.
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