SERIOUS INCIDENT PROBE AT ABERDEEN AIRPORT
Pilots returning to work “following extended periods without flying could be at risk of performing below their normal standard during their first few flights”, the Air Accidents Investigation Branch says.
A report suggests that a rapid descent made by a passenger plane may be linked to pilots being grounded during the pandemic, investigators have said.
The Boeing 737, which had been asked to abort its landing because there was a search-and-rescue helicopter in the area, was on a “high rate of descent” as it approached Aberdeen Airport on 11 September.
After complying with an air traffic control request to climb to an altitude of around 3,000 ft , the jet “deviated significantly from the expected flight path”, the AAIB said.
The flight descended as low as 1,700 ft at a speed more than 40% quicker than the one selected by the pilots. The increase in speed was “not corrected in a timely manner”, investigators said.
The official report stated: “At 1341 hours on 13 September 2021, the AAIB was informed that a serious incident had occurred to Boeing 737-800, registration G-FDZF, at Aberdeen Airport on 11 September 2021.
“The AAIB began an investigation assisted by the operator, the National Transportation Safety Board in the USA, and the aircraft manufacturer.
“The crew of G-FDZF had operated a passenger flight from Newcastle International Airport to Palma de Majorca before operating the incident flight from Palma to Aberdeen Airport.
“The aircraft departed Palma at 1047 hours with 67 passengers and 6 crew on board.