Jet 2 Diverts to Budapest

Saturday, August 8, 2009
By George Hatcher


Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact Photographer Sergio Domingos

What: jet2.com Boeing 757-200 en route from Tel Aviv Israel to Manchester
Where: Budapest (Hungary)
When: Aug 6th 2009
Who: 238 passengers
Why: Four hours into the flight, the flight developed pressurization problems. The pilot dropped altitude suddenly, described as experiencing turbulence and “plummeting thousands of feet.” Oxygen was deployed. The pilot made assurances, but of course the passengers were terrified.

The flight landed safely when it diverted to Budapest, and passengers were put up in a local hotel until a replacement flight was provided for them.

George’s Point of View

We need a better system to see turbulence in time to avoid it. Until we have it, airline operators are just going to need to accept the cost factor.

Going around turbulence is a fact of aviation, and avoiding turbulence is going to cost extra fuel. Sometimes you have to wonder if our present systems are working when flights are routed through known turbulence in order to avoid the expense of going around it. Those are the kind of foolish economical decisions made by those kinds of marginal airlines that are banned in the EU, and one of the reasons they are known to fall out of the sky.

At least our Jet 2 pilot here, had the skill to handle the situation, and a plane sturdy enough to withstand the pressures long enough to safeguard the lives of those aboard.

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