A cabin crew manager onboard a Royal Air Force (RAF) jet transporting medical supplies from a British military base in Bahrain to Bruneil was allegedly forced to go sick and stop working mid-flight because he ‘chipped a nail‘.
A report filed on the RAF’s internal Air Safety Information Management System says the crew manager had to sit in a passenger injury after hurting his finger.
The leaked report did not detail the extent of the injury but sources have told British media that the incident is another example of an ’embarrassing’ and ‘overbearing’ Health and Safety culture within the RAF.
The flight was operated by a multi-million-pound ‘Multi-Role Tanker Transport Aircraft’, known as Voyager and which is a military version of the Airbus A330. Some of the planes are operated by a private company known as AirTanker on behalf of the RAF.
The Voyager aircraft are able to act as an air-to-air refuelling vehicle and are also used to transport cargo or troops and other military personnel to wherever they are needed around the world.
One of the Voyager’s has been refurbished in a special VIP configuration for use by the Prime Minister, Royal Family and other special dignitaries. Known as Vespina, the specially adapted Voyager has a special Union Flag livery which allegedly cost the British taxpayer £900,000.
Cabin crew working on Voyager aircraft are called Air & Ground stewards by the RAF and must complete a tour of duty in the air before transferring to ground roles in military messes or even mobile military field catering.
The initial training for an Air & Ground Steward lasts for 16 weeks – much longer than the standard six weeks of training that most civilian cabin crew complete.
A spokesperson for AirTranker said the operation was not jeopardised by the crew manager chipping his nail. In a statement, the company said the flight “successfully operated as scheduled.”
“At no point did it divert from its pre-authorised flight plan.”
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.