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Capt. allowed flight attendants to touch control column during flight.

TOKYO, April 5 Kyodo

A captain allowed flight attendants and a female ground staff member to touch the aircraft control column of a plane operated by a subsidiary of All Nippon Airways Co. during flights in March 2005 and December 2007, company officials said Friday.

Air Central Co. reported the incidents to the Osaka Regional Civil Aviation Bureau of the transport ministry and the bureau strictly instructed the airline to prevent the recurrence of a similar incident.

The incidents came to light after a retired employee informed the company, which plans to penalize the captain and others concerned.

According to the company, the 51-year-old captain of the Fokker 50, a turboprop plane, asked two female flight attendants to take turns sitting in the copilot's seat for the ''purpose of study'' during a flight to transport the aircraft from Central Japan International Airport in Aichi Prefecture to Sendai airport on Dec. 14 last year.

The captain encouraged the flight attendants to put their hands on the control column as he banked the aircraft after switching to manual control and the two flight attendants each sat in the copilot's seat for several minutes.

On another occasion on March 30, 2005, the captain allowed a female member of the airline's ground staff, who was sitting in an auxiliary seat in the cockpit, to sit on the captain's seat for two to three minutes during a flight from Nagoya to Tokushima.

The captain, a veteran pilot with more than 10,000 flight hours, was a certified inspection pilot authorized to evaluate other pilots on behalf of the state.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism is considering ordering administrative penalties for the captain and others involved as well as demanding that the captain return his inspection pilot license.
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Publication:Japan Transportation Scan
Article Type:Column
Date:Apr 7, 2008
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