The strange tales of ministers and kings flying commercial jets

ONE of the more disquieting rumours of the year is that of the Iraqi transport minister who reportedly demanded a turn at the yoke of a plane carrying 200 passengers flying from Baghdad to Basra. According to a report in the New Arab last month, and a witness account on al-Sharqiya television news, the politician entered the cockpit and asked if he could land the plane. The captain told his co-pilot to give his seat to the minister so that he could land it under his supervision. New Arab quoted one official, speaking on the condition of anonymity: “The minister did not do a good job. He slammed the front of the plane into the ground, sending the passengers into a panic.”

That all sounds a bit far-fetched to Gulliver. (The Iraqi Civil…Continue reading

This post was originally published in the Economist.

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The strange tales of ministers and kings flying commercial jets

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