Pilots flying a passenger aircraft for Asiana Airlines engaged in a dispute, and due to the claim that during this process, the captain even threw a water bottle, authorities have started an investigation.
According to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport (MOLIT) and the aviation industry, the captain and senior pilots aboard Asiana Flight OZ561 leaving to Rome from Incheon at 12:30 P.M. on August 20 were in the process of turning over the controls when they had a heated argument.
For safety, long-haul flights like the Incheon-Rome one have two captains and two vice-captains on board. Each captain pairs up with a vice-captain and the two rotate in shifts.
When it was Captain A’s turn, Captain A demanded Captain B take over; however, Captain B told a vice-captain to take the controls instead. It has been asserted that Captain A opposed this course of action, starting a fight, and that it was during this time that Captain A threw the water bottle.
The MOLIT had conducted an investigation at Asiana Airlines’ head office in Gangseo-gu, Seoul on September 27. A ministry official stated, “The captains and vice-captains will be called in on September 30 to determine the truth behind this incident,” continuing, “They will subsequently be prosecuted in accordance with the law.”
Meanwhile, it has been found that this plane had 200 domestic and international passengers on board. In this incident, throwing a water bottle inside the cockpit could cause issues with the electrical equipment, and the agitation or spat among pilots could cause a fatal accident.
In December last year, two vice-captains became violent in the cabin of an Asiana flight from Incheon to New York. At the time, Asiana Airlines sparked controversy by allowing the pilots to remain in control of the plane.