The South China Sunday Morning Post reports veteran pilot Ian Wilkinson was piloting a new Boeing 777-300ER from Paine Field, near Boeing's plant at Everett, Washington, to its new home in Hong Kong when he reportedly came around and did a low pass. And we mean low. Witnesses say the new Cathay Pacific widebody airliner (shown above) overflew the runway at just 28 feet, gear up, at around 275-knots. Wilkinson -- who is 55 years old and nearing retirement -- has since been fired by the airline, reportedly for doing the stunt without company approval. The case has become controversial with industry bloggers, who say the practice is not uncommon, and note that 30 company VIPs were onboard, including the company chairman. Wilkinson reportedly did get approval for the fly-by from the Paine tower. Apparently, Cathay Pacific big-wigs toasted Wilkinson when he reached Hong Kong following the flight last month, but their attitude changed when video of the fly-by wound up on internet. That video is rumored to have been purchased by the airline from its owner, resulting in its prompt removal from the web. Here it is! ;-)
Cathay Pacific pilot was allegedly fired during its deilvery fly-away after returning to Paine Field shortly after takeoff and performing a very low, gear-up flyby for the spectators at the delivery party.