Published on Thursday, November 8, 2018

Flybe improves pilot training after error sends plane into nose-dive


Flybe has put in place new safety measures after one of its pilots accidentally sent a passenger plane into a nose-dive.

The flight from Belfast City to Glagow with 44 passengers and four crew on board plunged 500 feet in 18 seconds.

An inquiry found that the 60-year-old pilot had selected the wrong autopilot setting shortly after take-off.

An Accidents Investigation Branch report said warnings alerted the pilot who fixed the error at 928 feet, by which time crew said they could see the ground.

The report said the autopilot was engaged when the Bombardier Dash-8 turboprop lane reached an altitude of 1,350 feet.

The plane climbed a further 1,500 feet but then nose-dived because the autopilot was set to an altitude of 0ft.

The pilot rapidly disconnected the autopilot and the flight continued to Glasgow, where it landed without further incident, said the report.

It said 'several safety actions' had been taken by Flybe since the incident in January, including revisions to simulator training and amendments to the taxi checklist.

A statement from Flybe said the airline 'maintains a rigorous approach to ensuring the very highest flying standards are maintained'.

"Flybe implemented remedial actions quickly in response to the incident and our training and procedures have been amended to minimise the risk of a reoccurrence," it said.

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