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A former RAF pilot has been sacked for allowing Premiership leather worrier Robbie Savage "near the controls" of his aircraft in breach of anti-terrorism rules, the BBC reports.

Pablo Mason, who flew 23 bombing missions over Iraq during Gulf War I, was flying a private Mytravel charter from Finland last October when he ill-advisedly let the Blackburn Rovers midfielder enter the flight deck "in an effort to ease his fear of flying".

Mason admitted: "Yes I broke a rule. I did interpret the rule wasn't quite as strict for a private charter, which this was. Everyone on board knew each other."

He continued: "I think above all his [Savage's] anxiety about flying has been relaxed in some way. He knows a little more about how and why a modern airline gets into the sky and I think he sees the captain as being someone to trust and place his trust in."

Savage and Blackburn Rovers sent Mytravel a letter "explaining our version of events", but Mason was given his marching orders. A Mytravel spokesman said: "We have a zero tolerance policy towards any actions which could endanger the safety of our passengers and employees." ®

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