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Saturday, February 24, 2024

I believe I can(t) fly: Plane forced to turn back after pilot admits failing last test

It’s Thursday and if you’re with it, you’d know that means it’s #ThrowbackThursday!

Let’s throw it back to May last year when a flight was forced to turn back after the pilot admitted that he hadn’t passed his final flying test. Now, the plane had already been in the air for one hour!

Airlive.net reported that the Airbus A330 had been flying from the Heathrow Airport in London to New York in the United States when the Virgin Atlantic pilot told the plane’s first officer that he had not completed his training.

According to the report, the plane had to head back to London and wait on the tarmac until a replacement pilot could be found. Flight VS3 eventually arrived in New York, almost three hours later than scheduled.

This did not go down well with passengers who were fed up with the delay and domino-effect it would have on other flights as well as connecting flights.

At the time, Virgin Atlantic blamed it on a roster error, adding that the qualified first officer flying alongside the experienced captain was replaced with a new pilot to ensure full compliance with the company’s training protocols.

Meanwhile, the German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accident Investigations has revealed that South African Airways flight crew temporarily lost control of an Airbus 340-346 on a commercial flight in 2018.

Businesslive reported that the plane had been enroute from Johannesburg to Frankfurt loaded with 259 passengers.

The investigation revealed that the loss of control was due to rare and unpredictable wind conditions at high altitude which caused the Airbus 340-346 to exceed maximum operating speed. This led the pilots to apply the plane’s recovery procedures which brought it close to stalling.

According to Businesslive, SAA and South African Civil Aviation Authority (SACAA) are aware of the report. SAA further stated that a response on the report’s findings and any possible remedial action will be communicated to stakeholders and implemented among staff.


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