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Shock story of impostor woman pilot in Qantas uniform

June 28, 2013 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59An impostor, apparently a female navigation worker dressed as a pilot, spent hours in the cockpit on a flight from Dubai to Sydney, a major pilots’ union says.

The bombshell story, initially run in the Melbourne Herald Sun and by News Ltd, has hit the news wires and websites.

It concerns a woman who allegedly masqueraded as a pilot on a flight last week, according to the Australian and International Pilots Association (AIPA). 250x250px

AIPA is known as a “quiet” union. The Qantas pilots behind it seldom make waves, except for a very restrained protest last year when members wore red ties to point out what was happening with Qantas management. That was the union’s first period of industrial action since 1966.

That’s what makes the latest story so noteworthy. According to press reports, Qantas has confirmed that the woman wore “parts” of a pilot’s uniform, but has not explained why she was so attired.

AIPA is making a formal complaint. The union’s vice president, Qantas A380 captain Richard Woodward, was quoted as saying that a letter of complaint was in the hands of lawyers ready to be fired off to Qantas.

The Sydney Morning Herald said a staff member from navigation services was at the heart of the scandal. She “wore a second officer’s uniform on the flights when she wasn’t one,” the paper stated.

Qantas was still trying to establish why the woman was dressed as a pilot, but confirmed that she was on company business on the A380 flights to and from Dubai late last week.

The woman is said to have been given an access pass to enter the cockpit.

Woodward branded the action stupid, naive and silly.

He told the paper that the woman had dressed as a pilot on two flights, both to and from Dubai to Sydney.

The woman, a staff member, is described as having been “in parts of a pilot’s uniform”, which makes the incident seem even more mysterious. The airline is working to establish quite how the incident occurred.

The Qantas spokesman told the paper that the woman was on the flight deck for “operational reasons” and wasn’t trying to deceive the flight crew, who knew she wasn’t a pilot.

“There is no suggestion of improper behaviour on the aircraft,” the spokesman hastened to add.

Written by : Peter Needham

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