Tue, Oct 09, 2007
Hoped To Ease Midfielder's Fear Of Flying
He was just trying to help... but a pilot flying for UK charter
airline Mytravel is now without a job, after he allowed a
well-known soccer player into the cockpit on a recent flight.
The BBC reports Captain Pablo Mason, a former RAF pilot, allowed
Blackburn Rovers "footballer" (this means "soccer player," for
our American readers; the rest of the world already knows that --
Ed.) Robbie Savage into the cockpit, in an
attempt to ease Savage's fear of flying.
The incident occurred on a flight from Finland in August. Mason
admits he broke rules aimed at preventing terrorism... but says his
actions did not put the flight at risk.
"Yes I broke a rule," Mason said. "I did interpret the rule
wasn't quite as strict for a private charter, which this was.
Everyone on board knew each other."
Mason adds he believes the cockpit visit helped Savage feel a
little more comfortable in an airplane... and he would know. The
pilot, who flew 23 bombing missions during the first Gulf War,
began a "fear of flying" seminar for fretful passengers last
"I think above all his anxiety about flying has been relaxed in
some way," Mason said of Savage. "He knows a little more about how
and why a modern airline gets into the sky and I think he sees the
captain as being someone to trust and place his trust in."
As far as Mytravel is concerned, however, the ends did not
justify the means. "We have a zero tolerance policy towards any
actions which could endanger the safety of our passengers and
employees," a spokesman said.
Mason plans to appeal the airline's decision.
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