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Fight Between Pilot and Attendant on Chinese Airline Ends with Injuries & Suspensions

Fight Between Pilot and Attendant on Chinese Airline Ends with Injuries & Suspensions
Joe Cortez

A physical confrontation between a pilot and flight attendant aboard Donghai Airlines ended with a broken arm, a broken tooth, and potentially two broken careers. The incident happened aboard Donghai Airlines Flight 6297, nearly an hour before they were scheduled to land.

Both the pilot and first class flight attendant aboard Donghai Airlines Flight 6297 are suspended from work, after an altercation ended with broken arms and broken teeth. The South China Morning Post reports the incident was all over a passenger waiting to use a restroom.

Confrontation Between Staff Takes Place After Flyer Waits to Use First Class Lavatory

According to the newspaper’s account, the incident happened nearly one hour before the flight was scheduled to land at China’s Xi’an Xianyang International Airport (XIY). One of the pilots left the flight deck to use the lavatory at the same time a passenger had the same intentions.

The male pilot allegedly told the passenger to go back to their seat while the restroom was occupied. Instead, the flyer elected to stay at the door and wait for the pilot to finish. When the pilot emerged from the lavatory to find them still waiting to use it, he immediately confronted the male first class flight attendant for allegedly “not doing his job properly and affecting flying safety.”

After a short argument, the confrontation escalated to a physical fight. The reports say the flight attendant suffered a broken arm, while the pilot lost a tooth.

Once the incident went viral on Chinese social media network Weibo, Donghai confirmed that the two would be suspended from working for the airline. While the flight attendant was not allowed to return on the aircraft’s next leg, it’s unclear what discipline the pilot immediately faced.

“The company attached high importance to the argument among the crew members during flight and conducted a strict internal verification,” the translated statement reads, according to the SCMP. “Those staff members involved have been suspended their job to ensure flight safety.”

The airline says they will conduct “an overall safety rectification” as a result of the incident.

Fight Marks Second Safety Incident for Chinese Carrier in Three Years

Although a fight between two staff members on the same airline is a situation in of itself, it’s not the first time Donghai has faced troubles for safety violations. In 2018, a different pilot with the airline allegedly allowed his wife to stay in the cockpit across two flights.

Feature image courtesy: Windmemories/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

View Comments (3)


  1. drvannostren

    March 9, 2021 at 5:03 am

    Based on what’s written here it sounds like the case of an overzealous pilot (not the first, won’t be the last, some of them are REALLY arrogant) and a FA who just wasn’t having it lol. Would’ve been a helluva thing to witness.

  2. SamirD

    March 9, 2021 at 11:43 pm

    Donghai sounds like they’re ‘high’ when it comes to safety. No surprise from that country though…

  3. polinka

    March 10, 2021 at 2:12 pm

    yes, Would have loved to witness that. “How dare a pax listen to me in the crapper!” “Sir, we’re still an hour out, the seatbelt sign is off. What reason was I to give him to be seated?” “I’ll give you 5 reasons!” “Sir, I’ll meet your 5 with a flying kick to the teeth.”

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