Pilot suspended over mid-air photo stunt

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It could have been the ultimate in zoom photography, but a hair-raising stunt over the Atlantic last month went badly wrong and has resulted in the suspension of a daredevil German airline pilot.

The Condor Airlines flyer was suspended along with his co-pilot yesterday after his determination to take a cockpit shot of a colleague forced a British jet carrying almost 200 passengers to take emergency evasive action.

The unnamed German pilot was allegedly so keen to take a photo of a fellow-pilot manning his final Condor flight that he rose from below to within 600ft of a nearby plane, breaking strict aviation rules and setting off warning alarms in both aircraft.

After endangering the lives of the 234 people on board and severely damaging the pilot's professional record, the mile-high antics did not even provide the Condor captain with the close-up he wanted.

He had edged up to the wrong aircraft, a British Thomas Cook plane, and forced it to make a steep climb to avoid crashing. The intended subject of the photo was 100 miles away and unaware of the close encounter off the Canadian coast.