Starlux Airlines’ chairman and founder Chang Kuo-wei is facing a potential fine for allowing popular aviation YouTuber Sam Chui inside an aircraft’s cockpit during its inaugural flight.
On April 26, 2023, Starlux Airlines launched its first flight from Taipei’s Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
As is customary with inaugural flights, members of the press and media were invited onboard.
One of those invited was Sam Chui, one of the most popular aviation YouTubers / influencers who is regularly invited by airlines onto press trips.
Chui eventually covered the flight in great detail, and posted content to various social media channels, including his blog, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook accounts.
One photo that Chui posted on his social media channels caught the attention of the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA).
Source: Sam Chui Facebook page
It was a photo of a beaming Chui and Chang inside the Airbus A350’s cockpit. As well as being the airline’s chair and founder, Chang is also a licensed pilot, qualified to fly all of Starlux’s fleet. Chang was the inaugural flight’s captain.
According to local media Taiwan News, the case is being investigated by the CAA as it goes against Article 194 of the Aircraft Flight Operation Regulations, which reads, “No person may be admitted into the flight crew compartment of an aircraft except for the authorized personnel and flight dispatchers of the operator.”
If found to have violated regulations as a pilot, Chang may be subject to a NT$60,000 ($1,953) fine, while the airline may receive a warning.
A second offense would result in a NT$600,000 ($20,000) fine for Starlux.
Chui himself is not facing any violation charge or fine.