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Passengers scream in terror as pilot performs incredibly low stunt when Air Berlin flight lands for the last time

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https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/4712255/air-berlin-bankrupt-last-flight-dusseldorf-airport-stunt-pilot-investigated-video/

The pilot of the Airbus A330 - who is now being investigated - was allowed by the Dusseldorf traffic control to do a flyover as it was the last flight operated from the US to Germany.

Videos show the plane appearing to attempt to land before regaining speed and elevation, turning to the side as it does.

It then flies narrowly close to the airport terminal as it shows off its wings for one last time.

In a video shot by a witness, a woman can be heard saying "what is it doing" as the aeroplane suddenly seems to accelerate and is not slowing down to land.

The aeroplane then makes a sharp left turn towards the terminal building, with the people on the outside terrace screaming out in fear.

An airport employee who watched the dramatic scenes unfold thought at first the aeroplane would crash right into the terminal.

She said: "It was a strange feeling when the A330 came right at us, as we did not know before that it would do a honorary lap."

The Local reports the pilot is now under investigation by the Federal Aviation Authority.

Renate Brunder-Korbmacher, who lives near the airport, said: "People near the airport were really terrified.

"Those who have lived for decades near the airport and know the start and landing routes got a huge scare. An aeroplane that flies extremely low over the residential area, outside the normal route, usually means an emergency is happening."

Another resident even said that "they should actually take away the license of such pilots".

The resident said: "The man scared the hell out of hundreds of children in the Dusseldorf-Unterrath neighbourhood."

An Air Berlin manager who wished to remain anonymous told German media that the pilots were "complete idiots" for performing the fly-by.

Markus Wahl, spokesman of a German pilot's organisation, said that at no time were people in danger in the well planned move and he is sure that the pilot did not do anything illegal.

The airline said it was aware of the agreement to perform the low fly-by and "fully supports the LBA in its work".

On 15th August, Air Berlin stated it was filing for insolvency, although most flights continued until further notice after the German government provided the airline with a loan.

On 9th October, the airline however announced that it would cease all of its own operations by 28th October.

The total deficit of Air Berlin over 2016 was a staggering £707.5 million.

(Update) crew has apparently been suspended.

 

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I'd have to look up ICAO regulations, but here in the US Air Traffic Control can give you permission to do things (and might be on the hook by the FAA for doing so), but it's the FAA and associated regulations that will determine if the pilot broke regulations and what the penalty would be.

That said... I don't see anything grossly wrong with what the pilot or controller did.  Sure, a missed approach would normally require the pilot to fly down the runway (and that's what is normally done), but if he coordinated what he did with ATC then as I said I really don't see any issues.  It's out of the ordinary, so people will assume he did something wrong.

The pilot is more at risk of having to pay his airline for the extra fuel used in the go around, unless he had permission for that as well).

 

Best to everyone.

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As long as the crew advised the passengers beforehand of the maneuver, I don't see what's wrong here.

I doubt if the passengers actually did "scream in terror", sounds like a Sun headline.

 

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26 minutes ago, Jude Bradley said:

sounds like a Sun headline

Bingo! Sensationalism=Sales..........nobody heard anyone 'screaming' in the tower, or wherever that building was.

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Germans like driving 199mph+ down the autobahn anyways so to be honest I don't think that this scared anyone, just sounds like the no fun police are at it again. Definitely questionable but all he was doing was making a great ausfahrt :laugh:

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I would take everything The Sun says with a pinch of salt.    

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1 hour ago, ErichB said:

I would take everything The Sun says with a pinch of salt.    

Exactly. Remember how The Daily Mirror reported LaMia 2933 crash last year : "Hero pilot dumps fuel before crashing into hillside".

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I wouldn't believe The Sun if they reported the sky is blue and rain is wet!

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Doesn't look too dangerous to me, but I wouldn't be surprised if some people were alarmed by it, as it isn't something you'd typically see and might therefore lead you to believe something was wrong. Since it isn't the pilot's toy and would not be insured for doing a display, he should have sought permission to do the fly by, that way the airport could have announced it, it would have been all above board and nobody would have been alarmed by it. I wouldn't be surprised if the pilots lost their tickets over it purely for the fact that it was, technically at least, 'an unauthorised display' and that is indeed breaking an air law. If it was up to me I'd say drop any charges and chill out, since it was cool, but I doubt that will be what happens, especially when rags like the Sun stir things up with sensationalist reporting.

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Knowing a former DUS atc guy and hearing the sort of things that can be authorized on final days of people/airlines/whatever, there is probably absolutely nothing at all wrong here and everything was probably cleared long before the aircraft even settled onto final...

I wonder if there is any "news" of this over at PPRUNE... storm in a tea cup and sensationalist journalism at its worst again... the Sun is worse than toilet paper...

A

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So why have the crew apparently been suspended (update in the opening post)?

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Not sure, but they did get clearance, or maybe they asked for Clarence instead.

 

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6 minutes ago, Christopher Low said:

So why have the crew apparently been suspended (update in the opening post)?

Because the maneuver is currently being investigated by the German Aviation Authority LBA. Suspending the crew is standard procedure in case of such investigations. However, i dont really understand why the FA's got suspended as well and not just the cockpit crew. 

 

 

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Strange coincidence with pilots acting that way and the airline ceasing operations next week?.

Cheers, Ed

 

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2 minutes ago, edpatino said:

Strange coincidence with pilots acting that way and the airline ceasing operations next week?.

 

Not really, that's why they did it in the first place, Ed.

 

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17 minutes ago, Jude Bradley said:

Not really, that's why they did it in the first place, Ed.

 

Yup, I know, but it should be different ways to do a fly over, right?, this looked to me as temerary and probably a bit aggressive from the cockpit crew. Just my feeling.

Cheers, Ed

 

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47 minutes ago, aentwis said:

the Sun is worse than toilet paper...

Which is why it is banned in Liverpool for the utterly disgraceful way it sought to taint the LFC fans(of which I am one) and the good people of Liverpool, just to sell copies. But then, that is Rupert Murdoch's empire's way of doing things. Hypocrisy.

After all, if anyone is as old as I am and remembers the panning it gave Hugh Hefner when the Playboy Club was opened in London in 60s, and then, guess what, follows it up with the Page Three girls. I'd have thought that being seen by kids at a breakfast table was much more disconcerting than the PB Club.

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I seems a bit excessive to call it a dangerous manoeuvre as it was little more than a go-around with a very early turn (and not a steep turn) at low level. However I think the needless low level turn with passengers on board if anything is the thing that might cause the pilot a problem with the authorities as most go-arounds tend to fly runway heading until at least 1,000ft or higher although I am not sure what the go around procedure would be for the runway in question at DUS. Although presumably the passengers were briefed beforehand, I do wonder whether they had any choice in the matter and I can't help thinking there might well have been some more nervous flyers on board who might not have been altogether happy with this prolongation of their flight!

On the subject of low level turns by airliners with passengers on board this brings back memories of an arrival into Salzburg which I experienced as a passenger a few years ago in an Air Alpes Do328. After flying a low right hand downwind for runway 34 at SZG the pilot performed quite a steep descending right turn close to the airport as a curved base leg from downwind onto short final. Although as an ex-pilot myself I quite enjoyed this somewhat unique experience in an airliner but, from their reaction, I am certain that a few of the passengers did not!

Bill

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Thanks for posting that classic, Jude.

Isn't that the famous Lew Alcindor as I knew him in my teens, or Kareem Al-Jubar he later became?

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"Passengers screaming in terror" FFS.....is there any chance we can have a ban on links to the s*n newspaper? They are nothing but a bunch of liars ran by a scumbag. It amazes me to this day that people are still buying this rag considering their history, and the scandalous lies they printed, and the national cover ups they chose to adhere to.

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2 hours ago, aentwis said:

er if there is any "news" of this over at PPRUNE... storm in a tea cup and sensationalist journalism at its worst again... the Sun is worse than toilet paper...

+++ full agree

The inside-cabin-film don't show panic...

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1 hour ago, nealmac said:

"Passengers screaming in terror" FFS.....is there any chance we can have a ban on links to the s*n newspaper? They are nothing but a bunch of liars ran by a scumbag. It amazes me to this day that people are still buying this rag considering their history, and the scandalous lies they printed, and the national cover ups they chose to adhere to.

But then who will UK Prime Ministers take their instructions from?

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2 hours ago, vc10man said:

Thanks for posting that classic, Jude.

Isn't that the famous Lew Alcindor as I knew him in my teens, or Kareem Al-Jubar he later became?

Yes, Rick, that's right.

 

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Hmmmmmmm.......

Bit of a reaction against the Sun, while I was sleeping, so I guess a bit of background is in order.

The original headline for this post (that appeared on my newsfeed last night) was from the UK Mirror, which had that headline along with a small and not very informative article.

After I posted, I went looking for more info, and found a much better article by the Sun, so I went back, and changed the article and the link, and in retrospect, maybe should have changed the thread title if it was possible, to the milder headline from the Sun article, which was:

Quote

 

THAT'S NOT GONNA FLY 

Air Berlin pilot investigated over extremely low fly-by stunt at Dusseldorf Airport for bankrupt airline’s last transatlantic flight

 

Here is the mirror article which sparked my thread title: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/passengers-scream-terror-pilot-performs-11362861

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