Air Berlin Pilots Suspended for Buzzing the Control Tower
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
On Monday morning, the pilots of the last Air Berlin transatlantic flight pulled a sharp left turn just before landing, flying next to the air traffic control tower and just over the airport terminal. Immediately, it was announced that German aviation authorities were “looking into the incident.”
Now, we have more details about the fallout from the stunt: On Wednesday, Air Berlin announced it’s suspending both of the pilots for the action. “In aviation, safety always comes first. We are taking the incident very seriously,” an Air Berlin spokesman told Fortune. However, the identities of the pilots have not been shared.
One of the pilots spoke with German public television station Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, explaining: “we wanted to make a mark, a dignified and emotional goodbye.” While the airline reportedly hasn’t received any complaints from the incident, some observers in the airport’s terminal reacted with shock and seemingly fear of the aircraft crashing into the airport:
While it’s never good to be suspended by your employer, this isn’t going to be much of a punishment for the pilots. The flight in question was the last transatlantic flight by the airline, and the bankrupt company ceases operations on October 25. It’s possible that the A330 pilots weren’t even scheduled to fly again anyway.
Request for comment from The Points Guy haven’t been returned by the airline.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
- Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees