Pilot charged after he allowed a friend to take controls of a passenger turboprop

Pilot is charged with violating the safety of passengers after he allowed a friend named Anna to take controls of a passenger turboprop with dozens on board in mid-flight prompting her to say ‘this was unbelievably cool’

A criminal case has been launched against a pilot who allowed his ‘childhood friend‘ Anna, 33, (pictured) to take control of a passenger plane in Russia 

A criminal case has been launched against a pilot who allowed his ‘childhood friend‘ to take control of a passenger plane in .

The captain – named as Kirill S – is seen in a video letting Anna, 33, fly the AN-24 turboprop over Siberia with dozens of passengers on board.

He faces up to two years in jail or a fine of 300,000 roubles (£3,700) if convicted of violating the safety of passengers.

Chewing gum and blowing a bubble in the Antonov cockpit, Anna posted: ‘This was unbelievably cool.‘

Airline IrAero initially expressed doubts that its pilot was involved in giving a flying lesson to the unqualified woman.

But now a criminal case has been launched against the captain who was in charge of the one hour 40 minute flight from Yakutsk to remote Batagay-Alyta, said the East Siberian Transport Investigative Department.

Yekaterina Plyaskina, deputy head of the department, said: ‘We are carrying out a set of investigative activities aimed at establishing all the circumstances of the crime.‘

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The pilot has been suspended pending the criminal probe.

An unidentified close friend defended the pilot, saying he had remained at the controls of the aircraft which had up to 52 people on board.

‘Kirill is one of best pilots I worked with,‘ he said.

‘He was born with plane controls in his hands.

‘He became a captain aged 26, and it could have been even earlier if the rules allowed it.‘

The woman was ‘his childhood friend‘, she said.

In the video the woman is heard taking his instructions.

‘Back, to the right, now to the left and turn it back,‘ he told her as she was at the controls of the plane, according to .

She then queries the pilot. Pointing at the navigation display she says: ‘Why can‘t I get there?‘

He answers: ‘Well, I have no idea why you can‘t get there.‘

The woman posted pictures and video on Instagram after the flight – but these have now been deleted.

She is said to be mortified over the legal problems the pilot now faces.

IrAero is an airline based in the Siberian city of Irkutsk operating flights within Russia and internationally.

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