Home » Legal and Judicial Affairs » Furious SA Pilot Strips to His Pants At Harare Airport

A SOUTH AFRICAN Airways (SAA) pilot lost his cool Tuesday and stripped to his pants in front of fellow crew members, Harare International airport staff and passengers in protest against the rigorous searching he was made to go through by security.

Captain W Van Ginkel, who was minutes away from flying the airline’s Flight SA 025 jet, was immediately arrested for indecent exposure, inconveniencing some 90 passengers who were waiting to be flown to Johannesburg.

Witnesses to the bizarre incident said the pilot, as per routine, went through the metal dictating scanner which bleeped as he passed through.

He was made to remove his shoes and go through the process again by a Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ) official but the bleeping sound went on again, much his annoyance.

Ginkel was then ordered to take off his belt and on the second bleep, he begrudgingly took off all his clothes and strode through the electronic detector in his underwear.

But what was intended to be an expression of discontent with the meticulous frisking process turned nightmarish for the irritable pilot, who was immediately arrested by police for unsolicited display of his underwear.

Police confirmed he was subsequently fined for “criminal nuisance” and later released.

The airline was forced to dispatch another pilot from Johannesburg to come and fly the aircraft after Ginkel was adjudged unstable to proceed with the flight.

The incident, which happened Tuesday morning, caused a five hour delay of the flight.

SAA spokesperson later issued a statement, further apologising for the debacle.

“We regret the incident and we would like to apologise to our passengers and our stakeholders at large,” said Tlali Tlali.

“This is a matter which the airline will investigate in order to fully understand the circumstances that led to the detention of our crew member.

“Once we have all the information, we will decide on what course of action to take.

“We cannot apologise enough to our passengers for the inconvenience caused by the late departure of SA 025 from Harare to Johannesburg.”

Source : New Zimbabwe

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