Court rules airline pilot involved in deadly street race can keep his job


A court has barred Transavia from sacking a pilot who was involved in an illegal street race in which a 19-year-old woman died following a crash.

Judges said 32-year-old Casper van Wijngaarden’s ‘extremely dangerous driving’ had no bearing on his ability to fly planes responsibly in the course of his work.

Van Wijngaarden was earlier given a 100-hour compulsory work order for his part in the street race in Loosdrecht in March 2016, in which cars were driven at speeds of up to 150km/h.

Another racer, Van Wijngaarden’s 54-year-old father, Walter, was jailed for four years after he struck 19-year-old Fleur Balkestein with his Porsche, leaving her with fatal injuries. Both men are appealing against their sentences.

Transavia suspended Casper van Wijngaarden from duty after he was sentenced, saying the conviction was ‘incompatible with his job as a pilot’. But judges said the airline had appointed him when he was a suspect in the case. ‘This gave the impression that a conviction would not have any consequences for his work as a pilot,’ they concluded.

The court also pointed out that he was not found guilty of any direct involvement in the fatal crash.


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