Jumbo Jet Pilot Sacked For ‘Fly-By’ At 28 Feet

A British pilot has been dismissed for “buzzing” a control tower in a Top Gun-style stunt during the maiden flight of a Boeing jumbo jet.

Captain Ian Wilkinson astonished passengers by taking the 230-tonne Cathay Pacific jet to within 28ft (8.5m) of the ground shortly after take-off from Boeing’s US manufacturing plant.

The 322mph fly-by was cheered by onlookers, and the pilot, who is said to be one of the most senior aviators with the airline, later toasted the flight with champagne.

Footage of the stunt on January 30 was leaked on to the internet, however, and Mr Wilkinson was suspended. Cathay Pacific executives took a dim view of his actions, which were carried out without authorisation, and he was dismissed after a disciplinary meeting last week.

Video: YouTube
Source: Times Online