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. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Monday morning, Air Berlin’s final transatlantic flight landed in Dusseldorf (DUS), but not before a wild stunt. It seems the pilot of Air Berlin flight #7001 wanted to single-handedly extend the long-haul operations of Air Berlin — if only by another 10 minutes. In doing so, he pulled a very unusual maneuver flying the aircraft in a bank just over the airport terminal and right by the air traffic control tower.
Here’s what happened: After approaching the runway with too much altitude, the pilot of the Airbus A330-200 maintained an altitude of approximately 50 feet over the runway. It looks like the pilot is just going to do a low pass over the runway before aborting the landing and going around. However, about halfway down the runway, he (or she, as we don’t know who was at the controls) makes a dramatic low left turn:
And here’s another angle from the tower showing the aircraft pass at approximately the height of the tower:
According to flight tracking site FlightRadar24, the aircraft was at around 100 feet above the ground when over the terminal building:
While undeniably a fascinating maneuver to watch, this was still not an advisable move for a pilot with 200 passengers on board. Sure enough, German news source The Local reports that the “federal aviation authority is now looking into the incident.”
However, the airline notes that “the manoeuvre had been agreed upon with the flight control centre, which gave permission for a turn to the left in the case of an aborted landing.”
Standard go-around procedures for runway 23L call for pilots to climb straight ahead for two miles before turning right and climbing to 4,000 feet. If the pilot was cleared to turn left after a missed approach, it likely was expected to be done further downfield — not directly over the terminal.
Air Berlin points out that no passengers have filed a complaint. It may still have been pretty scary for some passengers who might not have expected a sharp left turn. Fortunately, however, these passengers didn’t experience a landing as crazy as this recent Emirates flight to DUS.
H/T: View From The Wing
Would you have wanted your pilot to pull off this maneuver with you on board?
Know before you go.
News and deals straight to your inbox every day.
NEW INCREASED OFFER: 60,000 points! With great travel benefits, 2x points on travel & dining and a 60,000 point sign up bonus worth up to $1,200 in value, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game. Here are the top 5 reasons it should be in your wallet, or read our definitive review for more details.
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards