Airline pilot charged with texting at the yoke

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Airline pilot Gary Tudowski, 52, was today arrested and charged with dangerous flying following a mid-air incident in which he was said to have "lolled so hard at an incoming text, that he bashed the steering yoke with his fists".

Mr Todowski, from Pennsylvania, was piloting for American Airplanes flight 409 when the incident occurred. One passenger informed us:

"We were eating our complimentary in-flight nuts when all of a sudden the plane dipped sharply. I seem to remember someone dropping their pen on the floor. It was a disaster - I've already sold my rights to the story to a movie channel!"

On investigating CCTV footage taken from inside the cockpit, pilot Tudowski was seen having received the apparently hilarious text message, generating his uncontrollable urge to fist bump the controls and, after righting the aircraft, proceeded to text the sender back.

"It's a gross negligence offence," claimed American Airplanes flight controller Jean Simmons. "You simply cannot text and fly. Or make love and fly. Or read Wittgenstein and fly. Or bake waffles and fly. There's a full list here somewhere..."

Mr Tudowski is currently suspended with full pay, and is expected to resume flight duties next time he's scheduled on the rota.

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