If You’re an Airline Pilot and Like Your Job, Don’t Give the Left-Hand Seat to a Pop Star

Years ago, it was quite common to be able to visit the cockpit of an airliner, even while in the middle of a flight.  I seem to remember being able to take a quick look on an Air Canada plane when I was a kid.

Not anymore, of course.  Things began to go south for cockpit visits in the 70s after radicals started aggressively insisting that the flight be diverted to Cuba or other terrorist sun destinations.  After 9/11, pilots have been barricaded on the flight deck for the duration of the journey.

Perhaps the crew of TAM Airlines in Brazil didn’t get the memo.  Two pilots have been fired because–well, read about it on Gadling.

A Brazilian pop star who calls himself Latino has put TAM Airlines in the hot seat after he was allegedly invited to sit in the captain’s chair during a cross-country flight from Recife to Rio de Janeiro. Pictures of the singer in the cockpit of an Airbus A320-200 were circulated on Instagram and posted to the musician’s website the day after the incident, but were later removed.

According to an incident report on The Aviation Herald, autopilot was on and the first officer was in his seat when Latino climbed into the captain’s chair. After a few pictures were snapped, the captain took back his seat and the aircraft continued for a safe landing in Rio.

Instagram photos from Aviation Herald.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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