TAIPEI - An Army helicopter pilot who was accused of bringing his flight helmet home and letting it be worn by his girlfriend has been grounded pending investigations, the Ministry of National Defence (MND) said yesterday.
The Army is still probing the case and will levy a harsh punishment if probe results show that the pilot did violate related regulations to bring home the helmet without a superior's consent, military officials said yesterday.
The MND's remark came after a local newspaper yesterday said the pilot, surnamed Huang, of the Army Aviation Special Forces 602nd Brigade, violated related rules in doing so back in August 2013.
The case came under media spotlight in the wake of the recent high-profile Apache photo scandal.
It was discovered that Apache helicopter pilot Lt. Col. Lao Nai-cheng of the Army Aviation Special Forces 601st Brigade took a group of 26 relatives and friends on a tour of his base in Longtan District in Taoyuan on March 29.
Without his superiors' approval, Lao allegedly gave his visitors access to a hangar on the base that houses AH-64E Apaches and even allowed them to board one of the choppers and take photos.
It was also later found that Lao had not returned an Apache flight helmet after a training mission last October but had worn it as part of a Halloween costume at a party at his home.
Military officials and prosecutors are now probing Lao's alleged role in the case.