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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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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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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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