Pilots too tired to land plane
June 19th, 2012 by elisa

Fatigue caused pilots on an Air Berlin return flight to Munich from Majorca to issue a distress ‘pan pan’ message to say they could not land the flight. They switched the Airbus A330 to autopilot which landed the aircraft safely.

According to an article in today’s Metro, it’s the first time pilot fatigue has been blamed for this type of incident, but it has raised concerns about proposed rules to extend pilots’ hours. The British Airline Pilots’ Association said: “This incident goes to show that fatigue is already a big problem that needs tackling.”

The pilots raised the alarm 12 minutes before touching down and were granted permission to use autopilot to land the plane.

Captain Ilya Schultz, president of the pilots’ union Cockpit, described the incident as an “unusual and alarming event”.

He said: “For me it is currently the only case I know of, which shows the dramatic nature of this incident.

“A pilot will only send such a dangerous message when he knows that he cannot guarantee the safety of the flight.”


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