Chinese Fighter Jet Pilots Give Canadian Air Force Pilots Middle Finger in Danger Close Flyby
Chinese fighter jets repeated buzzed Canadian air force planes on a UN-sanctioned operation in international airspace, some coming so close as to make eye contact with pilots in the other cockpit, a report said on Wednesday.
Sources in the Canadian government told Global News that the close-quarters intercepts happened approximately 60 times since Christmas. “Those jets are frequently flying as close as 20 to 100 feet from the Canadian plane,” the report said. Canadian pilots “sometimes see them raising their middle fingers.”
Aircrews with the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) fly CP-140 maritime patrol aircraft in Northeast Asia as part Operation NEON, a multinational effort to enforce UN sanctions on North Korea. The missions involve identifying maritime sanctions evasion activities, including the transfer of banned goods to Pyongyang, in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions.
In a statement of its own, the Canadian Armed Forces confirmed several interactions between its CP-140 surveillance planes and aircraft of Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF). The latest rotation of Neon saw Canadian aircrews operating out of Japan’s Kadena Air base in Okinawa between April 26 and May 26.
“In these interactions, PLAAF aircraft did not adhere to international air safety norms. These interactions are unprofessional and/or put the safety of our RCAF personnel at risk. In some instances, the RCAF aircrew felt sufficiently at risk that they had to quickly modify their own flight path in order to increase separation and avoid a potential collision with the intercepting aircraft,” said the June 1 statement.