Date
21 January 2017
It seems that the young man has been wearing the pilot's uniform even before the Dragonair incident happened, as could be gleaned from these pictures taken by netizens on an MTR train. Photos: Bloomberg, Facebook
It seems that the young man has been wearing the pilot's uniform even before the Dragonair incident happened, as could be gleaned from these pictures taken by netizens on an MTR train. Photos: Bloomberg, Facebook

Young man poses as pilot on Dragonair flight to Penang

He must have taken inspiration from the Hollywood movie Catch Me If You Can, in which a con artist played by Leonardo DiCaprio poses as an airline pilot.

But this young man who tried to impersonate a Cathay Pacific pilot did not fool the cabin crew of a Dragonair flight to Penang.

Upon reaching the destination, Malaysian immigration officers barred him at the airport and sent him back to Hong Kong, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Right at the start, he looked suspicious. He was taking a lot of pictures, for one thing.

The man told the crew that he was traveling on duty for Cathay Pacific after completing a flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong.

He had all the pilot’s paraphernalia on him. He was dressed in full pilot uniform, with badges, black tie, white shirt and black pants, as well as a neck strap with the airline’s logos on, news website hk01.com reported. Even his carry-on suitcases had Cathay Pacific tags.

But no doubt was left in the minds of the crew that he was a fraud after he ordered a glass of Bloody Mary.

Airline rules prohibit the cabin crew, including the pilots, from drinking alcohol while on duty.

A flight attendant gave him a glass of non-alcoholic Virgin Mary instead.

Then he insisted on going to the cockpit to talk to the pilots.

The cabin crew asked for some identity documents, but he said he had left them all in his checked baggage, according to Apple Daily.

After landing, the crew barred him approaching the cockpit and again asked him to provide identity papers.

Since he could not present any, the crew asked airport security to accompany him to the immigration counter.

During the investigation, the man, aged 18 to 20, identified himself as Ronaldo S., a half-South African, Apple Daily reported.

He admitted that he was not a real pilot, and he got the Cathay Pacific uniform and paraphernalia from his stepfather, who is a pilot of the airline. 

Barrister Albert Luk Wai-hung said although the man had impersonated a Cathay Pacific pilot, there seems not enough evidence to prove that he had planned to commit fraud or theft.

As such, it is quite difficult to charge him with anything, Apple Daily quoted Luk as saying.

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