An investigation into the near-crash of a plane from Japanese budget airline Peach Aviation revealed that the Argentinian pilot instructed his cabin attendant to lie to the passengers regarding the reason for the plane’s failure to land the first time. The plane dived to almost 100 meters above sea level last Monday after a misunderstanding between the pilot and the air traffic controllers.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, is leading the inquiry into the incident, which fortunately did not result into any injury to the 59 people on board. But according to sources from the carrier, the captain told the crew to tell the passengers that they could not land yet due to the bad weather and would attempt another landing. The 45-year-old captain told officials that he misunderstood the air traffic controllers and thought he was given clearance to land even though he was still 7 kilometer north of Naha Airport, in Okinawa. Fortunately, he was able to ascend again after hearing the ground proximity warning system of the plane, before trying a second time to land safely.
Investigators are looking into his reasons for lying to the passengers but Peach Aviation stands by his actions, saying he took the appropriate measures to land the plane safely. They admit though that they have received criticism for the lie that he told the passengers. A company representative said they will be taking another look at the company protocols regarding announcements through the public address system whenever a problem occurs during the flight or the landing.
[ via Mainichi ]
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