Captain Ian Wilkinson got fired after doing a crazy 518kph flyby at 8.5 metres over the 2.5km runway at Paine Field, a regional airport located next to Boeing's Everett facilities, the manufacturing site of the new 777-300 he was flying to Hong Kong, and the 787 Dreamliner. Reportedly, first he was congratulated upon arrival (as shown in the picture,) but when the video of his stunt hit the web, he was fired:
The VIP passengers in the 365-seat just-out-of-the-factory plane, including Cathay Pacific's chairman Chris Prat, "were said to be stunned into silence while onlookers cheered the astonishing fly-by," according to the Daily Telegraph. Captain Wilkinson's 777 maiden flight back to Hong Kong was at first cheered with champagne and nobody said anything until the video started to circulate on the web and the Hong Kong's Civil Aviation Authority saw it.
According to a company spokesman "the pilot in command of the flight was dismissed as he had neither sought nor obtained the necessary company approval to undertake such a fly-by." It seems reasonable, even while Wilkinson's flight looks like a kids' game compared to the amazing flyby of this Airbus A310 at the Evora 2007 Air Show. [Daily Telegraph —video by Bahneman]