ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact

A pilot has been reprimanded by his superiors this afternoon after it’s alleged the 27-year-old left the keys to the airline’s late model Boeing at home.

Stephen Morris, a Connellan Airways employee, was said to have misplaced the keys on the way to the airport and only noticed once he tried to unlock the Boeing 717.

He joined Connellan in 2009 as a cadet at their Remienko International Airport training base in South Betoota.

However, it’s understood that this is the first time he’s been reprimanded for misconduct.

“We can confirm that a Betoota to Melbourne service was delayed this afternoon,” said Connellan CEO Sam Cruikshank.

The Connellan Airways Boeing 727 in happier times. PHOTO: Supplied.

“It was delayed because one of our pilots left the keys to the aircraft in the Uber he took to the airport. He was able to contact the driver and organise them to be returned to the airport,”

“The delay to passengers was minimal as one of the stewardesses was able to unlock the cabin door with a coat hanger, allowing customers to get comfortable before the keys arrived. Alls well that ends well.”

The Advocate spoke to a number of passengers at the departure gate about the delays.

One passenger remarked that the co-pilot said that they could just get another plane to help them clutch-start the aircraft, but had ‘no way’ or turning on the ignition without the keys.

Another onlooker said the pilot first tried to open the aircraft by throwing a rock through the cabin door window, explaining that he wouldn’t take it over 500 feet the whole way as to not asphyxiate the passengers. It also alleged Morris said he could ‘hot-wire’ the Boeing, but was quickly talked out of that.

More to come.




Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here