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Are Cebu Pacific pilots stressed?

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines should look very closely into the death of 45-year-old Cebu Pacific co-pilot Margarito Austria Jr., who sources claim suffered a heart attack during a landing roll at the Cebu Mactan International Airport last Saturday (Dec. 17).

Austria, a former Philippine Air Force helicopter pilot prior to joining Cebu Pacific, has no history of heart problems and had a healthy lifestyle who shunned smoking and drinking, people who knew him well disclosed.

According to reports, Austria suddenly complained of dizziness on the final approach and was rendered unconscious while the pilot handed the touchdown. Austria was immediately brought to the Mactan Doctors Hospital, but was declared dead on arrival.

Friends and former colleagues of Austria were shocked to learn of his passing, describing him as an affable and well-liked person. Insiders attribute Austria’s death to the stress he was allegedly getting from red eye flights—or those that depart late at night or early morning. They are disputing rumors claiming that the Cebu Pacific pilot’s death is due to food poisoning.

The same sources allege that a lot of pilots have been also complaining that the scheduler gives them these flights even before the body clock has adjusted or even before the pilots have had sufficient sleep or rest—reportedly telling the pilots they can hack it because they are still young anyway, or words to that effect. Sources also claim that aside from Austria, another pilot had reportedly suffered a stroke. 

CAAP said the lives of the 136 passengers of Cebu Pacific Flight 5J548 were not put at risk during the incident, but many are understandably concerned at the possibility that the same incident could happen in the very near future—while the aircraft is still a long way from the airport, with both pilots experiencing dizziness due to fatigue and undiagnosed stress. Scary possibility.

‘Mistress killer’ on the loose

If you have been getting a lot of feeds on Facebook showing photos of a half-naked woman beating beaten almost to death by several women, chances are you’re seeing the handiwork of Zhang Yufen, China’s renowned female detective whose moniker is “mistress killer.” 

Zhang is making brisk business out of helping cheated wives gather evidence of their husband’s adulterous activities in order to get compensation in a divorce—and take revenge against the mistresses at the same time. She capitalized on her personal experience of having been dumped sometime in the ‘90s by her husband—left penniless and homeless with no way of getting evidence to make him provide child support—to put up a detective agency and track down the philandering man. It took quite a while, but she successfully obtained a divorce and a payout.

In the process, Zhang came across other women who also wanted to get evidence against their cheating husbands and their mistresses. In 2008, she put up Alliance Against Mistresses, working with volunteer citizen reporters who run a website that exposes corruption. Apparently in China, infidelity is often the hallmark of corruption especially among public officials—and Zhang sees her organization as one of the very few that dares to stand up for justice for the cheated wives. 

Many are disturbed however by Zhang’s encouragement of physical violence against the (suspected) mistresses, saying it’s the husband who should be beaten and humiliated in public.

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Topics: Happy Hour , Cebu Pacific pilots , Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines
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