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Published on Thursday, September 29, 2011

Plane flips as pilot hits wrong button

A passenger plane narrowly avoided disaster when it plunged over the Pacific, almost turning upside down, Japan's transport ministry said yesterday.

The All Nippon Airways (ANA) flight, with 117 passengers and crew on board, dived 1900 metres in 30 seconds in the incident on September 6, AFP reported.

The manoeuvre happened when the co-pilot, in trying to unlock the cockpit door for the captain who was returning from the toilet, mistook a command button for the cockpit door lock switch nearby.

The plane later managed to touch down safely at Tokyo's Haneda airport. Two crew members were slightly injured.

Images from the flight recorder on the Boeing 737-700 showed the plane veered to the right and then sharply to the left, before dropping backwards.

The aircraft tipped more than 130 degrees to the left at one point.

 A senior ANA official apologised to travellers at a press conference yesterday.

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  • Wrong button!!

    A bit naughty that such a vital button is sited so close to the door lock button, a bit like a landing gear lever being right next to an ejector seat lever (although I don't think Boeing fit ejector seats on 737's (yet)!

    By Keith Standen, Thursday, September 29, 2011

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