Captain locks co-pilot out of cockpit

Two Air New Zealand pilots have been stood down over a mid-air tiff that led to the captain locking the first officer out of the cockpit.

Flight NZ176 was travelling from Perth to Auckland and was delayed after the first officer was asked to undergo a random drug and alcohol test.

The 13-minute delay apparently frustrated the captain who went on to lock the first officer out of the cockpit for two minutes once the plane took-off, the New Zealand Herald reports.

Air New Zealand played down the incident saying the captain didn’t open the door because he was approaching a navigational waypoint and thought it was a member of the cabin crew — rather than his co-pilot — attempting to enter the cockpit.

“Both pilots have learned a valuable lesson around the need to communicate better with peers,” said an Air New Zealand operational integrity and safety manager.