Trainee pilot flew Pakistan International Airlines plane as captain napped with 300 on board

A Pakistan International Airlines captain allegedly risked the lives of 300 passengers by handing over the aircraft to a trainee pilot. Photo / 123RF
A Pakistan International Airlines captain allegedly risked the lives of 300 passengers by handing over the aircraft to a trainee pilot. Photo / 123RF

A captain is under investigation for taking a nap during an international flight and handing the aircraft over to a trainee pilot.

Dawn reports Pakistan International Airlines captain Amir Akhtar Hashmi handed over the reins to the under-training first officer, Ali Hassan Yazdani, and took a 2.5 hour kip in the business class cabin.

According to sources, the airline was initially reluctant to take action against Mr Hashmi, a former president of the highly-influential Pakistan Air Lines Pilots Association, but later caved to "pressure from above".


Sources said more than 300 passengers were on board the Islamabad to London flight on April 26.

Dawn reports Mr Hashmi was supposed to be training Mr Yazdani when he left the cockpit to grab some shut-eye.

One of the passengers spotted the uniformed pilot taking a nap and, fearing for the safety of travellers, dobbed him in to a senior flight attendant.

"Passenger (Seat 1D) complained that while the captain was sleeping in the business class cabin, [the passenger did not] feel safe. It had been explained that two other crew members were in the cockpit, but he said that he would follow the matter and write down a complaint card as well," the flight report stated, according to Dawn.

Neither co-pilot reported the incident to management in order to protect Mr Hashmi from an inquiry, the newspaper reported.

According to Dawn, this is not the first time Mr Hashmi has compromised the safety of passengers.

He has previously flown long-haul flights without resting for the prescribed duration before the start of the journey, but was not disciplined.

- News.com.au

- NZ Herald

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