Tunisian pilot who prayed as his plane went down jailed in Italy

A pilot accused of praying when he should have been taking emergency measures to avoid a crash in which 16 people died has been sentenced to 10 years in jail by an Italian court.

Captain Chafik Gharby was at the controls of a plane belonging to the Tunisian charter airline Tuninter that crashed in the sea off the coast of Sicily four years ago. The 23 survivors were left swimming for their lives, some clinging to a piece of the fuselage that stayed afloat after the turbo-prop aircraft broke up on impact.

I wish I could say that it was me who immediately thought of this clip from the Upright Citizens Brigade TV show, but it was Barbara, when I read the story to her from the paper this morning.

On a very related note, if you want a good movie about how the laxity of government enforcement in an industry can cause disaster, check out the Argentinean film Whisky Romeo Zulu, which I saw last night. It’s the story of a fatal airliner crash which ended in the convictions of a number of company officials, as well as members of the military who oversaw (or were supposed to oversee) safety enforcement and training.