19 February 2009

Aircrew have a lot to put up with

Apparently a pilot for Swiss International Airways had a hissy fit at London City Airport's staff security checkpoint yesterday, causing a 2-hour delay for his passengers as all the security drones and petty officials held a protracted enquiry into his outburst. (original story in The Sun)

The tone of all the coverage and comments is laughter and derision (he dropped his pants and asked if Security wanted to "check this" as well), but I can't help feeling slightly sympathetic.

He obviously was 'having a bad day' and, as a professional pilot, he certainly shouldn't have lost his cool, but aircrew must be truely sick of the ridiculous security they are subjected to.

We passengers hate the tiresome omnipresent security regimes at airports, but even the most frequent flyers don't have to endure it at anything like the frequency that aircrew do. And why? As one of the Sun commentators points out, the only people who could down a plane without needing to smuggle something (weapons/explosives) through airport security, are the pilots.

I bet there are thousands of airline pilots today, reading about this incident and thinking how close they themselves have come to doing the same thing.

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Addendum: A glance at the thread (I knew there would be one) on Pprune.org suggests I'm right.

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