A young woman’s selfie has cost one Chinese pilot his license to ever fly a plane again.
The unnamed pilot from Air Guilin permanently lost his license after it was found that he allowed a female student to enter the plane’s cockpit.
In a statement issued by the airline on Monday, it was revealed that the pilot has been banned from flying for life for “violating air safety rules.”
The man let aspiring flight attendant Chen Yuying enter the cockpit of an Air Guilin flight about 10 months ago, according to the South China Morning Post. The incident remained unknown until the photos taken by Chen emerged online and went viral on Sunday.
In one of the images, the third-year student at Guilin Tourism University can be seen sitting in the pilot’s seat with a tea set in front of her. “I am super thankful to the pilot! I am so thrilled!” she wrote in her caption.
Posted on Weibo, the photo was recently spotted by a person working in the air industry. The airline was soon identified after it became widely shared, sparking immediate criticism from industry insiders.
Aviation specialists pointed out how alarming it was that the image was taken in January as the plane was flying between Guilin, in the southwestern region of Guangxi, and Yangzhou, a city in the eastern province of Jiangsu.
“Air Guilin has decided to ban the pilot from flying for life but did not say whether the pilot would continue working for the airline in another capacity,” read the statement.
“The other crew members have been suspended from flying indefinitely pending further investigations. Air Guilin always attaches great importance to passengers’ safety, and we have ‘zero tolerance’ for any improper and unprofessional conduct that may jeopardize aviation safety.”
Based on China’s civil aviation regulations, non-crew passengers are only allowed in the cockpit when their entry is necessary and conducive to flight safety.
Feature Image via Weibo