Cathay Pilot Fired for Unauthorized Stunt

Cathay Pacific’s chief 777 pilot was fired after scaring the living crap out of the airline’s chairman.  The pilot was flying a new 777 back from Seattle to Hong Kong with 50 passengers (staff members, primarily) on board, including the airline’s chairman.  After takeoff he circled back and flew about 30 feet over the runway without the landing gear down.  He had told the airport about the maneuver, but did not tell his passengers (which, as I mentioned, included  the airline’s chairman).  As I’m relatively certain they all thought they were going to crash,  passengers were not amused, and, upon return to Hong Kong, fired the $500,000-a-year pilot.

The linked article includes a photo of the plane a few feet off the ground with no landing gear down.


  1. [spills coffee] Maaaaaaavrick!

  2. Well, what’s more shocking: the fly-by, the firing, or the fact that the chief pilot of Cathay Pacific brings home 500K a year?

    I’m going for the third! :)

  3. Two quick things:

    1) I tried not to make a Top Gun reference, so I’ll thank Avi for taking care of that…

    2) I also spit out my coffee at the $500k salary. Well done!

  4. Check out this link for a slightly different take on the story. Sounds like this pilot would still be employed had it not been for the internet.

  5. Could the 500 Thou have been Hong Kong dollars? That would bring it down to about 65000 US Pesos…

  6. TedassicaWala

    Hi all!