Aussie Prime Min­is­ter’s pi­lots sus­pended over drink­ing spree

The Pak Banker - - 6i Nternational -

SYD­NEY: Two elite Aus­tralian air-force pi­lots were sus­pended for go­ing out drink­ing the night be­fore they were were due to fly Prime Min­is­ter Ju­lia Gil­lard, the de­fence depart­ment said on Fri­day.

The two mem­bers of the Royal Aus­tralian Air Force's 34 Squadron, used to trans­port VIPs, were tem­po­rar­ily sus­pended but not dis­ci­plined fur­ther af­ter the in­ci­dent, the depart­ment said.

The state­ment fol­lows a News Limited me­dia re­port that the pi­lots hit the town in Dar­win af­ter a mil­i­tary fu­neral at­tended by Gil­lard in July, and did not re­turn to their mo­tel un­til af­ter 5:00 am.

"Af­ter the crew mem­bers self-re­ported their ac­tiv­i­ties, they were tem­po­rar­ily sus­pended from fly­ing while a quick as­sess­ment and coun­selling were con­ducted, in ac­cor­dance with de­fence pro­ce­dures," a depart­ment state­ment said.

"As this was a first oc­cur­rence, mem­bers were coun­selled and no fur­ther dis­ci­plinary ac­tion was deemed nec­es­sary. There have been no fur­ther oc­cur­rences."

The re­port, cit­ing de­fence ca­bles ob­tained through free­dom of in­for­ma­tion laws, said the pi­lots and two fe­male flight at­ten­dants an­gered fel­low mo­tel guests with their rau­cous be­hav­iour, in­clud­ing hors­ing around with a fire hose.

The next day, one of the pi­lots was breath-tested and "closely mon­i­tored" be­fore be­ing al­lowed to fly Gil­lard and her en­tourage to Ade­laide, it said. -Afp

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