Fight Between Pilot, Mechanic Halts Flights

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Up to 500 passengers were stranded on American Samoa, some for more than a week, after a pilot reportedly flattened a mechanic and the airline they were contracted to, South Pacific Express, suspended flights. According to the e-Travel Blackboard an altercation between the two on Dec. 21 ended with the mechanic laid out. The pilot, a first officer, was immediately fired. The mechanic and the airline’s chief pilot were "recalled" by the owner of the aircraft, Freedom Air, which forced the airline to suspend service. That left 500 holiday visitors to the tropical island without a way home. The pax were rebooked on other airlines but their flights were already packed with holiday travelers. By Dec. 28, there were still about 100 South Pacific Express pax waiting for flights. According to Radio New Zealand International South Pacific Express has announced a new flight crew will be sent to Samoa today to resume regular service.