Thursday, February 13, 2014

NekNominate reaches dangerous new heights

NekNominate reaches dangerous new heights: Student downs pint mid-flight with hands on controls of small aircraft
  •  Thorfinn Stout, 21, was in the front seat of a light aircraft
  •  He had one hand on the control column and the other on a pint
  •  It is not clear who filmed the Stirling University student
  •  But aviation experts have warned he could be flouting air rules

A student has taken the NekNominate craze for dangerous dares to new heights by downing a pint in the cockpit of a plane.

Thorfinn Stout, 21, uploaded a video of himself in the front seat of a light aircraft with one hand on the control column and the other holding what appears to be a pint of lager.

It is not clear who filmed the Stirling University student, originally from Kirkwall, Orkney, while he was carrying out the stunt.

But Civil Aviation Authority rules make it clear that it is illegal for a passenger to be drunk aboard an aircraft. Mr Stout was a passenger rather than co-pilot and there is nothing to suggest he is intoxicated.

The head of one Scottish flying school said they banned all alcohol in their light aircraft because they 'do not mix'.

Mr Stout, who is reading business studies and sports studies, is heard in the video saying: 'Ready for a pint.'

As Mr Stout downs the pint in one, his hands are on the controls of the plane in front of him.

After posting it on his Facebook page, a friend called Andy Croy wrote: 'Haha quality mate. Reports of a small aircraft swerving over Kirkwall can be confirmed then.'

A CAA leaflet on passenger safety in light aircraft states that pilots should 'not take passengers who are under the influence of alcohol (or anything worse)'.

It adds: 'They could hazard the flight. Drunkenness in an aircraft is an offence under ANO 2009 Article 139.'

Jack Simpson, an instructor at Edinburgh Flying Club, said that it would be 'inadvisable' to let passengers on board a light aircraft drink any alcohol.

Mr Simpson said: 'Alcohol and planes do not mix. If it is a passenger drinking it is not illegal but it is inadvisable. It's up to the pilot, but it is absolutely not advisable.

'We wouldn't allow anyone to take alcohol on the plane at all. We have a line that says there should be at least eight hours between the bottle and the throttle.'

A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority said: 'Although passengers are not prohibited from drinking alcohol onboard an aircraft, they are legally obliged to follow the instructions of the pilot in command at all times.

'If a passenger's actions interfere with the pilot's control of the aircraft, they can be charged with recklessly endangering that aircraft, an offence taken very seriously by the courts, and which carries with it the possibility of a custodial sentence.'

Mr Stout could not be contacted for comment.

His mother, Anne Stout, from Kirkwall, said that her son was not the co-pilot, but did not wish to comment any further.

In another NekNominate video, 29-year-old Samuel Dyer, from Haverfordwest, West Wales, was filmed risking his life to complete a dare.

In these pictures he can be seen jumping off a cliff into rough seas while downing an alcoholic drink before being pushed under water by strong waves.

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