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Ten years in prison for praying pilot

By Richard van der Draay     Mar 30, 2009 in Travel
A Tunisian pilot who left the steering to his co-pilot and started praying when his plane ran into trouble has been sentenced to ten years in prison in Italy.
Italian media reported the case on Tuesday.
The co-pilot was also sentenced to ten years imprisonment. Both were found guilty of causing the death of sixteen passengers when their charter plane crashed into the sea near Sicily in 2005.
The Tuninter airplane was on its way from Bari to Djerba. The pilots did not notice that there was a shortage of fuel because the wrong fuel gauge had been installed.
When the engines lost power the pilot tried to land at Palermo airport but he did not reach the landing strip.
On the cockpit voice recorder pilot Chefik Gharbi can be heard losing control over the aircraft and starting to recite prayers.
The pilot’s lawyer announced he would appeal against the sentence. He said that Gharbi did everything to try and get the passengers to safety. His lawyer said: ”Facing danger he called on God, as anyone would do.”
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