Why is a flight attendant sitting in the captain’s seat of a Jetstar A330 in level flight at around 250 knots airspeed?

And who else was on the flight deck when the first officer posed in the same seat after or before the 305-passenger jet appears to have slightly changed its heading?

CASA says it doesn’t act on anonymous photographs.

We obscured the faces of the flight attendant and first officer, but Crikey will send CASA the unedited images.

There are enough breaches of air safety regulations implicit in these images to result in criminal prosecutions.

The sender of these images points out that the first officer may well have proper cause to be in the left hand seat in providing relief to the captain, or for training purposes if it wasn’t a flight carrying passengers.

However, the air safety regulations only allow appropriately licensed and qualified persons to occupy a control seat while an aircraft is in flight.

The anonymous emailer lists several risks in the situation of the flight attendant in a pilot’s seat.

An instruction for a change in heading or altitude by air traffic control may not be acted upon.

She would be incapable of responding to a TCAS or automated collision alert system warning which is triggered when aircraft are converging courses, and depends on the pilots of each flight diving, climbing or changing course according to a computer generated instruction.

In an emergency procedure caused by a cabin depressurisation or an engine fire she would be occupying a seat urgently required by a pilot.

Our informant is critical of the pilot culture at Jetstar and says, “Due to an industrial requirement of keeping costs low promoting pilots in house, the experience, safety culture and compliance with simple regulatory requirements have been neglected.

“Alan Joyce [currently Jetstar CEO pending taking over that role at Qantas] stated some time ago his concerns that bringing in qualified crew would ‘pollute the Jetstar culture’ . One must wonder exactly what culture he is trying to protect.”

Jetstar this morning launched a full inquiry into the matter and has also notified CASA of its inquiries.

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.

 

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW