5 minutes into this video, a commercial Indonesian pilot is shown performing a very tame version of a parabolic flight path as performed by zero-gravity flights, in a Cessna 172.

This video has over 11 million views currently and due to the 'wrong' people presumably having seen this footage, the pilot has had his single-engine license revoked. There is currently a petition to have his license re-instated and the coverage in Indonesia is widespread.

What actual laws or regulations did he break? Seems like he performed the maneuveur safely to me.

Link to news story (translated to English)

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    $\begingroup$ Not many light aircraft pilots haven't done the floating pencil trick. Which is basically this. In any case, what evidence do we have that the pilot has "had his license revoked"? Can you link to where you learned this info? $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec
    Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 9:13
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    $\begingroup$ @Jamiec Sure... all you had to do was search 'Indonesia zero gravity' in Google news. You'll need to translate the page obviously: cnnindonesia.com/nasional/20190529155704-20-399507/… $\endgroup$
    – Cloud
    Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 9:33
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    $\begingroup$ Right, and if you had done exactly that then it quotes the Director General of Air Transportation explaining exactly what the pilot did wrong. So, what is your question exactly? $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec
    Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 10:14
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    $\begingroup$ @Cloud He broke his country's regulations. Period. Regulations are not black and white for a good reason. "Reckless" can be objective and subjective. Only thing he can do is appeal, but I doubt he will appeal. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 11:31
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    $\begingroup$ Another minor point: You can perform a manoeuvre safely and it still be against a regulation. I could safely fly inverted past Heathrow's tower. Doubt i'll keep my license though. $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec
    Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 11:52

1 Answer 1


Lets break this down as best we can.

For starters you've made an error in your assertion. The pilot hasn't had their license revoked, just simply their SEP rating. There's a difference. The person in question can still do their day job as a pilot, on a type-rated aircraft. They have accepted a suspension of their Single Engine rating.

On some finer points mentioned in the linked news article:

[...] both pilots and passengers do not use shoulder harnesses

The Indonesian Aviation Regulations specify

For small civil airplanes manufactured after [27 December 1993], an approved shoulder harness for each front seat.

If we make an assumption that this flight was carried out in an aircraft manufactured after 27th December 1993, then both front seats should have been equipped with shoulder harnesses which should have been worn. Hardly the crime of the century, but there you go.

Second, Vincent gives flying control to unauthorized people

This one is a bit tenuous, unless the PiC has an instructor rating he is "officially" not supposed to allow someone else to manipulate the controls. Finding exact wording to back this up is not easy. I think most pilots (of light aircraft) have let their passengers have a go at the controls.

Third, he was deliberately maneuvering zero gravity

This in and of itself isn't the problem, I suspect the problem was whether he was doing so in an entirely safe manner. He gave no warning to his passengers that I could see, and I'm not convinced he performed the checks suggested before such a manoeuvre that would make it safe.

They could easily just cite the following:

No person shall operate an aircraft for the purpose of air navigation or for operations on any part of an airport (including areas used by those aircraft for receiving or discharging persons or cargo), in a reckless or reckless manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger the life or property of any person.

The wording of this regulation is fairly similar across many aviation regulators, and is often cited for "You did something against regulations".


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    $\begingroup$ It's not clear to me if this answer is using the phrase "checks required before such a maneuver" to indicate a specific regulatory requirement to do a HASELL check before exceeding a certain pitch or bank angle, or is just referring to the catch-all regulation cited immediately after. It appears to be the latter and if so do we really know that the maneuver was unsafe because the pilot didn't perform a HASELL check? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 11:39
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    $\begingroup$ @quietflyer we don't know anything it's all purely speculation. Unless the Indonesians release a report on this incident we never will. I clarified the other point you made. $\endgroup$
    – Jamiec
    Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 11:50
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    $\begingroup$ "gives flying control to unauthorized people": is that actually visible in this video? I didn't see it. $\endgroup$
    – bogl
    Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 13:22
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    $\begingroup$ The main thing was the pilot posted a video for all to see which would be almost like a challenge to the authorities to do something to discourage others. $\endgroup$
    – John K
    Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 13:45
  • $\begingroup$ I expect zero G to be outside operating limit of aircraft. $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 5, 2019 at 15:25

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