Back to Squawk list
  • 71

Personal Diversion Lands Air Force Pilot In Hot Water

A Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) pilot checked in on time for his flight but will carry a stain on his record for the expense and disruption it caused. Capt. Nathaniel D’Arcy was commanding a CP-140 Aurora, the RCAF equivalent of the U.S. Navy P-3 Orion, in a training exercise off the west coast of Canada in May of 2019 when he remembered he’d forgotten to check in for an airline flight booked for the next day. He broke off the mission in search of a cell signal, flying the thirsty four-engine… ( More...

Sort type: [Top] [Newest]

Chris Bryant 23
I'm not sure about the Canadian military, but in the US military, that's known as a CLM (career limiting move).
Cansojr 5
Hi Chris, He just flushed a great career down the toilet with the RCAF. This stunt will haunt him in civilian aviation particularly in North America and Europe. Let's call it a CEM...Career Ending Move. This is as stupid as a felony.
Cansojr 1
I wonder if he faced a MAST with VP407 out of CFB Comox?
Eddie Moran 1
Ralph Torres 10
Bet he thought it was a good idea.
Jim Cole 9
News flash: Just because you CAN check in for a flight the day before doesn’t mean you HAVE to. Your seat will NOT be given to anyone on standby until about 30 minutes before it departs. He had all night and part of the next day to sort it all out. If this is indicative of his best judgement I wouldn’t want him defending the skies above me.
canuck44 10
Stupid move but only charged with a Section 129 same as we charged sailors for the most minor breaches of disciple before the XO on a ship. Chances are if he stays in his next posting will be flying a desk at some God forsaken Army base. Before then he needs to gather up his log books of PIC with a ton of mu;tiengine hours and head to the airlines.
Paul Thomas 5
Could he have radioed for someone to do the airline check-in for him, or would personal air communications have been just as egregious?
Jeff Phipps 13
If I was the judge, I would have added the cost of the crew and hourly cost of operating this bird as a penalty. I'm pretty sure paying the cost out of his pocket would hit him like a ton of bricks.
patrick baker 1
this was not during a war patrol with subs in the area, and he wantonly left his duty area. He was on a training flight and making holes in clouds without any real need to be anywhere in particular, simply running drills and exercising his crew functions. If he shifted locations 100 miles or more either way, 15 minutes more or less either way, exactly who was harmed and in what way? Many training flights are in fact expenditures of fuel and flight salaries and little more. Get a life.....
user3956 4
People seem to really like coming down on others online these days, like it makes them feel a little bit better of themselves to - in their mind - justly admonish someone else "hah! what a fool!".

I don't really have an opinion on this incident one way or another however people really do forget how training is not only necessary but burns a ton of fuel and time - the alternative being rusty crews making mistakes due to lack of practice etc (which some pilots of have cited as a negative result of covid's decreased air travel).

On an almost unrelated note Troy Aikman commented last year during a jet flyover of an American football game how much of a waste of gas it was, and "you won't see that on a Biden ticket" or something similar.

Well TROY... those pilots are going to log a certain number of hours for training ANYway so what's the difference?
WhiteKnight77 3
I heard all that about the Blue Angles and Thunderbirds doing flyover for first responders and doctors and nurses. With airshows canceled, it was only appropriate (in my view) that the money already allocated for those shows, be used for such to be logged as training flights.

Back when I was aircrew, I was in a training squadron teaching PUIs their final bird, so every flight was a training flight. In order to rate flight pay, pilots and aircrew had to fly a minimum of 4 hours a month to keep our pay. I got that in one day, and I flew darn near every day.
Dennis See 8
One of these individuals where, "It's all about me"!
Its all about making the right decision in life. If we constantly have difficultly with the little decision it will eventually catch up with us. That's why pilots(myself) can get in trouble. How many of us push or fuel limits in a car,go through yellow light, roll through stop signs, drive fast in wet weather or just fast all together. This makes for a poor pilot.
Paul Hurford 2
Simply irresponsible and plain stupidity.
C Anderson 2
The Captain was heard to say, "Sorry."
Ladies and gentlemen, we are cruising at 35000 feet and will reach our destination 15 minutes late as i have to get to a cell tower, i believe i left the oven on.
Tim Hunter 2
I'm wondering why, in an aircraft OBVIOUSLY LOADED with electronic gear, there wasn't a way for him to get online via satellite, or something, and do the needed check-in??
John Majane 1
What an idiot
TWA55 1
I wonder if it was a vacation flight his wife (if he was married) has been waiting for, for a long time. lol
David Lisko 1
Terminal grade - assured.
Richard Haas 1
During the Cold War surveillance of the Mediterranean was handled by a squadron based in Rota, Spain. There was a period of several months during which the planes simply could not be made airworthy. They were not performing the mission---which the US Airforce would have been happy to take over. The solution was to handle surveillance out of Brunswick, ME. The P-3 Orions flew from Maine to the eastern Mediterranean and back without, as far as I know, refueling. They did not land in Rota, anyway. The commander of the squadron in Rota was relieved of duty.
lynx318 1
Why didn't he wait til he landed before checking his civilian flight? How long was the training mission?
Jim DeTour 1
Maybe he wanted a job doing cellphone advertisements.
Doesn't sound like fun at all...why two flights at once?
George Pepe 1
“Texting” while flying is going to be as bad or worse than texting while driving. But he wasn’t even texting. Checking in for a flight is going to be more dangerous than texting because you have to look down at your phone and tap it more than you do when texting.
patrick baker 0
with all that electra time he can get a better paying flying job pretty quick. Time to move on. he doesn't get to sit left seat in the canadian military anymore.
George Pepe 0
You can’t use a cellphone on a plane. Why is he searching for a cell signal on a plane. (Even though we all know that the cell signal doesn’t affect the planes flight.
WhiteKnight77 2
Royal Canadian Air Force aircraft, not your typical passenger plane.
George Pepe 1
True that, true that
Michael Meyers -7
If he was in USA six months ago Trumpster would have pardoned him, provided he said nice things about him.
Michael Meyers

Congratulations, you win the award for the most assinine response to this thread.
Yikes. They bite hard there.
eric pearson -5
L.H. Biden decision...
He has a full time job as an airline pilot. He should resign his commission in protest and stay with his day job flying the planes that most low-time pilots could only dream.
Eddie Moran 0
Idiots in charge of this highly trained pilot. Peace time brings out all the paper pushers and they rise to the top.
WhiteKnight77 1
This reminds me of a certain officer character in a certain movie starring Clint Eastwood.


Don't have an account? Register now (free) for customized features, flight alerts, and more!
Did you know that FlightAware flight tracking is supported by advertising?
You can help us keep FlightAware free by allowing ads from We work hard to keep our advertising relevant and unobtrusive to create a great experience. It's quick and easy to whitelist ads on FlightAware or please consider our premium accounts.