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Pilot Loses Tooth in Mid-Air Brawl

Pilot Loses Tooth in Mid-Air Brawl

Chinese carrier Donghai Airlines has suspended a pilot and a flight attendant after the two had a fistfight just before landing that resulted in a broken arm and a knocked out tooth.

The Donghai Airlines flight from Nantong to Xian was less than an hour from landing when the fight erupted, prompted by a disagreement over a first-class passenger who wanted to use the toilet.

According to the South China Morning Post, the pilot was using the bathroom when the passenger indicated that they wanted to go in, but the pilot told them to wait in their seat. When the pilot emerged from the bathroom the passenger was still waiting, which resulted in the pilot berating the first-class cabin attendant for “not doing his job properly.”

An argument broke out that quickly spiralled into a fistfight – reportedly with the pilot as the aggressor. The pilot lost a tooth but the flight attendant broke his arm.

Donghai Airlines issued a statement seen by the South China Morning Post confirming that both the pilot and flight attendant had been suspended from their roles.

“The company attached high importance to the argument among the crew members during flight and conducted a strict internal verification,” the airline said.

“Those staff members involved have been suspended their job to ensure flight safety.”

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Fionn Davenport is the editor-in-chief of the ITTN group, including ITTN and ITTN Ireland. He's one of Ireland's best-known travel journalists and writers, with nearly 30 years' experience writing guidebooks for Lonely Planet and others.

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