Two pilots are under investigation for allegedly manoeuvring their Boeing 737 through the air so that it drew the shape of a penis in the sky.
The phallic-like turns were apparently a bizarre act of solidarity with the Russian football team’s captain. The unnamed crew of the Russian Pobeda airline are reported to have flown the plane so that it drew a penis to back their country’s team captain Artem Dzyuba who was suspended from international duty after footage showing him appearing to masturbate in bed was leaked online.
‘This was probably the way in which Pobeda captains expressed their support to Russian team captain Artem Dzyuba and showed their attitude to him being bullied,’ said a spokesman for the airline.
The Boeing 737-800 (reg. VQ-BTJ) performed flight DP407 en route from Moscow to Yekaterinburg on November 11.
It was later confirmed that the Federal Air Transport Agency is investigating the ‘phallic protest’ over the city of Neftekamsk. Reports suggest the crew requested permission for air manoeuvres ‘due to a need to check radio-navigation equipment’.
It is known that the scheduled flight with budget airline Pobeda – part of national flag carrier Aeroflot – landed 20 minutes late in Yekaterinburg. Oleg Panteleev, executive director of Aviaport agency, told the RBC news outlet that a check was being made on whether the crew had received permission for unusual manoeuvres around Neftekamsk and if so whether the turns in the sky threatened safety.
The probe will also check whether the crew broke the boundaries of ethical behaviour.
Separately, the FSB security service is investigating whether the 32-year-old Zenit St Petersburg player was blackmailed for $5 million over the compromising video which was allegedly hacked from his mobile phone.