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Starlux Airlines chairman faces fine for allowing YouTuber inside cockpit

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Chang Kuo-wei, the chairman and founder of Starlux Airlines, could be fined for letting prominent aviation YouTuber Sam Chui into an aircraft’s cockpit on its first flight.

Starlux Airlines’ maiden flight from Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) took off on April 26, 2023.

As is common for maiden flights, the press and media were given access to the aircraft.

Sam Chui, one of the most well-known aviation YouTubers and influencers who frequently receive invitations from airlines on press trips, was one of those invited.

Chui eventually wrote extensively about the flight and shared content on his blog, YouTube channel, Instagram account, and Facebook page.

The Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) saw a snapshot that Chui shared on his social media platforms.

It was a picture of a happy Chui and Chang in the cockpit of an Airbus A350. Chang is not only the chairman and creator of the airline; he is also a certified pilot with the ability to operate any aircraft in the Starlux fleet. The pilot of the first flight was Chang.

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.

For a second offense, Starlux would have to pay a fine of NT$600,000 ($20,000).

Chui is not being fined or charged with any violations.

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