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Veteran Nepal Airlines Captain Vijay Lama is facing professional turbulence over a complaint that he allowed a video blogger into the cockpit to film the airline’s recent flight from Dubai to Kathmandu.

After vlogger Sam Chui’s video – filmed on Monday, October 31 - circulated on social media, the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal asked Nepal Airlines to remove him from the flight duty roster and sought clarification from Captain Lama. 

On November 5, Sam Chui, a Chinese vlogger, and author based in Dubai released his new vlog sharing his experience flying Nepal Airlines A330 from Dubai to Kathmandu. He wrote in his Facebook post: “We can see Dhaulagiri, Annapurna, Manaslu and many tall mountain peaks on the flight. The landing in Kathmandu is always exciting!”

But the airlines’ promotional activity appears to have caused a bit of turbulence. 

A letter issued by the authority’s Flight Safety Standard Division, and seen by, reads: “Dear Captain Vijay, a report has been made against you in violation of FOR clause 4.14 [photography/videography in flight]. Hence you are required to visit the Division on November 7 positively.” 

The letter copied to crew controllers of A330 adds: “Please do not roster Captain Lama for flights until further notice from this office.”

When contacted, Captain Lama declined to comment. But a senior Nepal Airlines official told that “the issue stemmed from a communication gap between the airlines and the civil aviation authority.” “It’s not a big issue. We will sort it out,” he said. 

According to him, vlogger Sam Chui had been invited on board Nepal Airlines A330’s Dubai-Kathmandu flight to film the flight, “as well as promote the airlines’ services.” 

As per the plan, Sam Chui, equipped with cameras and tools, flew from Dubai to Kathmandu, filming the aircraft, crew members, in-flight services, and views from his window and the cockpit – a no-go area for filming without permission from the chief of the civil aviation authority. 

Sam Chui is an internationally acclaimed aviation vlogger and author. His YouTube channel has 3.15 million subscribers. 
In the four days Sam Chui released his new vlog, Himalaya Adventure - Flying Nepal Airlines A330 to Kathmandu, it has already been viewed more than 324,000 times. 
After landing in Kathmandu, Sam Chui flew on a helicopter to the Lukla airstrip. Later, he also flew to Jomsom, Mustang.

Update: On November 10, Sam Chui commented on Facebook that he did not breach flight safety rules as the aircraft was on the ground in Dubai when he entered the cockpit to interview Captain Lama: "Capt Vijay is now cleared from Nepal CAAN. He clarified that I was in cockpit on the ground during boarding time. There is no compromise of any safety. CAAN should look at how we promote aviation and create transparency for aviation in Nepal."

WATCH: Embedded vlog by Sam Chui - Himalaya Adventure - Flying Nepal Airlines A330 to Kathmandu

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