Aviation News, Headlines & Alerts
Category: <span>panic</span>

Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/airflight/www/www/wp-content/themes/fluida/includes/loop.php on line 270

SpiceJet Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Kolkata

SpiceJet flight SG-389 made an emergency landing in Kolkata, India, on February 26th.

The plane took off for Surat, India, but had to turn back after a passenger who was flying for the first time suffered a panic attack.

The plane landed back safely.

Saudi Arabian Airlines Flight Delayed due to Passenger’s Crash Dream

Saudi Arabian AirlinesA Jeddah-bound Saudi Arabian Airlines flight was delayed after a passenger created panic in the plane at King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on December 2.

The plane was about to take off when a passenger, believed to be a Saudi national, stood up and claimed that he had a dream about the plane getting crashed.

The authorities evacuated all passengers from the aircraft and searched it thoroughly while the Police took the man in custody.

An airline official confirmed that the plane was able to take off after security clearance.

Indian Pilots: One bad seed

What: Air India Express en route from Cochin-Salalah
Where: Salalah
When: Nov 3, 2011 9:45
Who: 87 passengers

In George’s Point of View

India has made noises in the press about cleaning house regarding some of the bad pilots that skated through a flawed and corrupt school and accrediting system.

In this event, the pilot of an Air India Express COK-Salalah (Oman) flight, made three attempts to land. A cumulation of numerous small errors threatened passenger safety and defied standard operating procedures and included mis-entering data into the system.

The pilot forced the B737 to land using “autoland” in high cross-winds.

Wind speed on the ground was 25 knot (46 kmph) gusting to 35 knot (65 kmph.) Operating procedure allows landing when winds are no higher than 25 knots. The Boeing FCOM lists 35 knots as the max permissible crosswind landing component on a 45m wide. The pilot would have been correct to divert to another airport. There was adequate fuel to do so (if he had realized the numbers entered into the system were incorrect). Ground conditions were at the top of what Boeing allows and would be a challenge. Instead of diverting to Abu Dhabi, the pilot landed in defiance of safety norms.

The pilot attempted to land twice, and then decided to divert. Having been entered with incorrect data, the FMC (Flight Management Computer) incorrectly concluded there was only six minutes of flight time left. This was incorrect, as the plane had 4.7 tons of fuel, more than enough to reach Abu Dhabi, 75 minutes away.

On the pilot’s third attempt, the pilot autolanded (without having trained for autolanding.) It was a safe, if hard landing, and one that damaged the plane and nearly went off the runway. Two tires burst, and the landing gear was damaged.

Maybe this pilot is a fool, or maybe just careless. The plane did land with no loss of life. You know they always say “the devil is in the details.” I don’t know verifiable particulars. We don’t have available first hand data to analyze, but Air India and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation does.

But when we see evidence of problems like this, we wonder if India has gone far enough in raising the bar.

Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/airflight/www/www/wp-content/themes/fluida/includes/loop.php on line 270

UK: On Board Panic Attack Calls Out RAF

Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Steve Brimley

What: American Airlines Boeing 767-300 en route from Dallas to London
Where: UK
When: Mar 2nd 2010
Who: 161 passengers and 12 crew
Why: While en route, a female passenger apparently became hysterical and attempted to gain access to the cockpit. She was “chilled” down by the crew, and provided a reception by UK police on arrival to Heathrow. She was arrested on suspicion of endangering an aircraft.

George’s Point of View

On receiving news of the unruly passenger attempting to gain access, the UK also provided two Royal Air Force fighter Typhoon jets from RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire as escort, flying side by side with the American Airlines flight.

Although the jets returned to base when it was determined the incident was the woman’s emotional meltdown (reputedly due to an illness in her family), and not a “terror incident, it is a sign of the times that fighter jets are pulled into service and London Airspace is placed under a Restricted/security Alert when a pilot requests a priority approach (even though the situation is under control). Of course, if this were a terror incident, why would they continue to route to Heathrow? I find the course of action confusing.

Consider some points and see if there is some kind of balance to be found:

  • How responsible is the woman, if she were having a true panic attack, which is a true mental disorder?
  • What was the fuel bill for the two Air Force fighters (plus the wages of those engaged to contain our fearful flyer?)
  • What were the fighters going to do? Shoot down a passenger jet with 172 normal people and 1 mentally ill passenger aboard?
  • Did anyone consider the likelihood of two fighter jets actually calming a woman in a panic? If her panic attack is the kind related to a Mitral valve prolapse, she may well have died.
  • Who made the decision to deploy fighter jets in an instance when the ones most endangered are inside? What can the jet pilots actually do other than shoot down the commercial jet? Did they not believe the pilot that things were under control, and had to actually peek in the window to make sure?

Is this a little like using the lid of the superdome to contain a butterfly? And how reasonable is it to arrest someone for a panic attack? It seems that in response to her panic attack, everyone else must have had one too. Is it catching?

Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type null in /home/airflight/www/www/wp-content/themes/fluida/includes/loop.php on line 270

Dangerous Hysteria aboard Batavia Air

Pictured: A Batavia Air Boeing 737-4Y0
Click to view full size photo at Airliners.net
Contact photographer Roger Shen

What: Batavia Air Boeing 737-4Y0 en route from Bali Indonesia to Kupang, Indonesia
Where: Ngurah Rai in Bali, Indonesia,
When: 03-DEC-2009 11:45 AM
Who: 148 passengers and six crew, 6 injuries
Why: The plane had been carrying 148 passengers from Surabaya, East Java to Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara. The flight had stopped overnight in Bali because El Tari Airport (the destination) was closed due to another incident. Passengers were already wound up, because they’d spent the night actually in the airport–with no overnight compensation or accommodations.

The plane was about to take off when passengers, believing the plane was on fire screamed and rushed the exits, forcing the door open and jumping from the plane. Six were injured leaping from the plane (which was not on fire) without any ramps.

Passengers had seen normal exhaust smoke when the pilot started up the engines.

Content not attributed to or linked to original, is the property of AirFlightDisaster.com; all rights reserved.

Site Credits