EasyJet suspends pilots over dancing cartoon cockpit video

Two easyJet pilots have been suspended after footage emerged of them playing a Snapchat game in the cockpit during a flight.

The Luton-based carrier said on Friday that the pair had been grounded pending a disciplinary investigation.

A video published by the Sun showed the first officer completing paperwork with a virtual owl dancing beside him. The footage then showed him dancing with an animated fitness instructor. It was viewed more than 6,000 times, the Sun reported.

The aircraft was flying at 30,000ft at the time, en route from Paris to Madrid. A photograph showed the captain with a bear filter over his own face, with the hashtag: “teamflyingnut”. The images were reportedly posted on Facebook and on the Instagram account pilot_flyingnut, which belonged to Capt Michel Castellucci but has since been deleted.

An easyJet spokesman said the video was taken while the aircraft was in cruise control and passengers were not placed at risk.

He added: “Whilst at no point was the safety of the passengers compromised, this falls well short of the high standards easyJet expects of its pilots. It is not acceptable and is not representative of the thousands of highly professional pilots who work for the airline. We take this issue seriously and as such the pilots have been suspended (in line with our procedures) pending a disciplinary investigation.”

The UK regulator says pilots should refrain from all non-essential activities during critical phases of flight, normally below 10,000ft.