On an Air Algerie flight from Algiers’ Houari Boumediene International Airport to Setif Regional Airport, a boy, sponsored through a children’s charity initiative, was allowed to push buttons and hold the wheel under supervision, the Aviation Herald reported.
The orphan, dressed like a captain, was also told to change the altitude on the plane’s autopilot gears and turn on the seat belt signs — a clear violation of civil aviation regulations.
"He was very disciplined, calm and attentive," the pilot told the El Bilad interviewer. "I am sure he will be a good pilot."
Both pilots, unsurprisingly, wound up suspended Friday after the footage was broadcast on an Algerian TV channel, according to Algerie 360.
Calling the pilot’s decision "irresponsible," a spokeswoman for Air Algerie said that the incident could have endangered the lives of the passengers.
The Aviation Herald added one of the captains was arrested for permitting a child into the cockpit and for permitting the child to control the plane while it was airborne.
The boy, whose ambition is to become a pilot, was also treated to an exterior tour of the plane prior to takeoff.
An internal investigation into the matter by Air Algerie is ongoing.