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February 27, 2008

Matt Cawby

Matt Cawby took this series of photos which are now looped into this video:

Matt Cawby just happened to be plane spotting when Cathay Pacific took delivery of the new 777 and then the pilot did a very low flyby. It's probably fair to say that if Cawby hadn't been there, and the film had never been shown, that the pilot would have kept his job.

It's not unprecedented for pilots taking delivery of new jets to take off from the Boeing delivery center at Paine Field and loop back around for a final lap above the airport.

"There have been a few of those in the past, but in the memory of anybody at Paine Field, this was the lowest one," said Christopher Schwarzen, spokesman for Snohomish County, which owns and operates Paine Field.

Images of the stunt were posted on YouTube.com and on the Web site of Matt Cawby, a Mountlake Terrace plane spotter. On YouTube, search for "777" and "Paine."

Capt. Ian Wilkinson, according to the airline, flew as low as 28 to 30 feet off the ground after taking delivery of a 777-300ER passenger jet. He is appealing his firing, according to reports in The Times of London, the South China Morning Post of Hong Kong and Flight International, an industry publication. Co-pilot Ray Middleton was suspended and also is appealing.

The reason I think this?

Cathay spokeswoman Carolyn Leung says the pilot was dismissed last week because he did not seek or obtain approval for the flyby, which has been done several times before at air shows with the airline's permission.

An airline statement said another pilot on the plane has also been subjected to disciplinary proceedings, but not details were disclosed.

Images of the stunt were posted on YouTube and the website of a Seattle-area plane spotter, Matt Cawby.

Hong Kong's South China Morning Post reported Sunday that the airline's chairman, Christopher Pratt, was on the plane when the pilot, Capt. Ian Wilkinson, swooped back over the Boeing plant shortly after taking off.

The Chairman was on the plane and knew what had happened. But the suspension didn't happen until the movie surfaced on you tube. Meaning that they got embarassed about it, and that's why they pulled the pilot.

It's a big damn plane, too:

The 777-300 ER is 242 feet long, weighs around 350 tons and is 61 feet 5 inches high at the tail. It lists for $264 million.

Images of the Jan. 30 stunt appeared on YouTube and on the Web site of a local plane spotter, Matt Cawby.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Mike Fergus said "the circumstances are being looked into and investigated by the FAA." A Paine Field spokesman had no comment.

You can see more photos (some not by Matt Cawby) here.


February 27, 2008 in Current Affairs | Permalink

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Comments

Er, none of that footage was taken by Matt Cawby and he has nothing to do with all this. All the shots taken to make that video were taken by Liem Bahneman.

Get your facts right before wrongly accusing folks.

Posted by: Seattle-deliveries | Feb 28, 2008 1:36:02 AM

Er, none of that footage was taken by Matt Cawby and he has nothing to do with all this. All the shots taken to make that video were taken by Liem Bahneman.

Get your facts right before wrongly accusing folks.

Tim adds: My mistake obviously, I assumed the video I found by following the newspapers insturctions was indeed the one Cawby had made: as the newspaper said.

Posted by: Seattle-deliveries | Feb 28, 2008 1:36:12 AM

Crazy stunt. Almost as crazy as the one where little wheels extend out of under the plane and actually TOUCH the runway. Now THAT'S crazy. BTW, videos of that are also on Youtube.

Posted by: Arno | Feb 28, 2008 8:14:13 AM