An Italian court has sentenced a Muslim pilot, Chafik Garbi, who, in the midst of an emergency landing, stopped to pray rather than taking emergency measures. The accident about the ATR prop aircraft resulted in 16 deaths in Sicily.
He was convicted of manslaughter.
The fuel gauge installed on the aircraft was not for that particular model, resulting in the plane running out of gas in midair.
To the shock of the passengers, when the gas cut out, Chafik Barbi, a Tunisian, broke into prayer rather than taking steps to prepare the aircraft for the emergency landing. He has been sentenced to jail for 10 years along with his co-pilot.
Five employees of Tuninter were sentenced to between eight and nine years in jail by the court.
This may be a good argument for an only-atheist pilot policy for some passengers. There is something to say for having a pilot who has nothing to look forward to in a crash situation.
Some pilots, however, have defended the men –saying that they were flying the aircraft the whole time and that accounts by the BBC and others is misleading.