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Pilot locks co-pilot out of cockpit after having drinks with flight attendants

By Mason White 1:14 PM July 7, 2014
Cockpit illustration 

By: Anika Rao
An angry pilot locked his co-pilot out of the cockpit after the co-pilot left to drink with flight attendants, a spokesperson for Air New Zealand said.

Now, the company has suspended the two after the midair drama that took place when the flight left from Perth to Auckland.

Trouble began when the departure was delayed because the co-pilot was ordered to undergo a random drug and alcohol test. This delay frustrated the pilot who took pride on operational efficiency.

During the flight, the co-pilot left the cockpit for a comfort break, and then had coffee with flight attendants. When the co-pilot tried to return to the cabin, he realized that the door was locked.

The pilot did not answer or open the door. The co-pilot became concerned and used an alternative method to enter the cockpit.

After an investigation, the pilot was suspended for two weeks, while the co-pilot was suspended for one week. Flight attendants were offered counseling after suffering from anxiety over the incident.