Pilot felt betrayed


AIR Niugini pilot Capt Joe Kumasi says he felt betrayed by the national airline for sacking him last week after 38 years of service in the aviation industry.
Kumasi, 58, from Wariman village in Wewak, East Sepik, said he had clocked up 25,000 hours of flying time and was planning to retire at the end of the year.
He was among the eight pilots sacked for, according to the airline, taking part in a “politically-motivated” stop-work in July.
He said the sacking of the eight was “big loss” to the country given the amount of time and money spent on training them.
“I’m sad to say that I’m the experienced of the lot,” Kumasi told The National.
“I had given notice for my retirement at the end of the year. I was leaving anyway but the sad thing is the others who are younger pilots.”
He said the country had lost four sets of experienced flight crew.
“The crew is made up of captain and co-pilot,” Kumasi said.
“In the Boeing 767, they have terminated me, a captain, and First Officer Boris Ageda.
“In the Boeing 737, they have terminated Capt Ben Lopa and First Officer Elijah Yuangi. Yuangi came up through the cadet training programme of Air Niugini. It cost a lot of money to train the young person and he got promoted all the way up to Boeing 737. Capt Lopa came through the Air Niugini cadet training programme, worked his way up to become captain of the Boeing 737. He (also) trains other pilots.
“Capt Vince Tongia is a Fokker 70 and Fokker 100 training captain, who got terminated while he was training other young pilots.”

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