Pilots ‘didn’t notice’ TUI plane had plummeted nearly 1,500ft

By Lisa James
19/08/2022
Home » Pilots ‘didn’t notice’ TUI plane had plummeted nearly 1,500ft

A TUI aircraft coming in to land plummeted nearly 1,500ft in less than a minute without pilots noticing, an investigation has found.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) said the incident, over Aberdeen International Airport a year ago, happened after the pilots had experienced ‘significant periods’ away from flying during the pandemic.

They had been using simulators while they’d been unable to fly, but the AAIB said this did not replicate the real-world implications of a high workload situation.

On September 11 2021, the flight from Majorca carrying 67 passengers and six crew had been asked to abort its landing because there was a search-and-rescue helicopter in the area and was on a ‘high rate of descent’ as it approached the airport.

The aircraft climbed to about 3,000ft above sea level before immediately beginning its descent, falling to 1,780ft above sea level in 57 seconds.

The aircraft began to climb again immediately after ATC radioed the pilots.

The investigation found the pilots did not realise the aircraft was descending due to high workload during the go-around procedure – an aborted landing of an aircraft on final approach.

The AAIB also found TUI, Boeing and the airport have since taken appropriate measures to avoid similar incidents

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