Girl, aged 5, flew packed holiday jet

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The Independent Online
A British Airways pilot and co-pilot have been suspended and could face the sack after a five-year-old girl operated the controls of a packed jet.

Holidaymakers were flying back from the south of France to Heathrow on a Boeing 757 when the toddler was allowed onto the flight deck.

She then perched on one of the pilot's knees and was allowed to press buttons on the instrument panel.

A BA spokeswoman confirmed that, following a passenger's complaint, the captain, Phil Higton, and his co-pilot were under suspension.

She said: "We have suspended them pending an investigation. We do view it as a serious breach of company regulations but it is important to stress that at no time was the safety of the passengers compromised.

A newspaper named the girl the girl as Emily Pickersgill and said she spent 20 minutes on the flight deck, at one stage pressing a button to make the plane turn.

It also said the plane was 15 minutes from Heathrow, although the BA spokeswoman said this was unlikely.

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