When Pilot’s mistake takes AirAsia X-plane to Melbourne

Malaysian Airlines, Indonesia, AirAsia Flight QZ8501, inadequate weather conditions, Australian Transport Safety Bureau, air traffic controllers, Kuala Lumpur , AirAsia Airbus A330, Sydney, Melbourne,

A Malaysia-bound AirAsia Airbus A330 which took off from Sydney finished its journey and landed down in Melbourne after the pilot entered the aircraft’s wrong longitudinal position, safety officials reported on Wednesday.

The Airbus A330-300 departed from Sydney and was on route to Kuala Lumpur on March 10 last year but air traffic controllers went on warning alert after it started flying in the wrong way.

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They radioed the team but attempts to mend the difficulty that only drove to “further degradation of the navigation system, as well as to the aircraft’s flight guidance and flight control systems”, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau said’

The pilot, who had been operating A330s for past 18 months, decided to revert back to Sydney but inadequate weather conditions forced the pilot to navigate manually to Melbourne, where the aircraft landed safely, they said.

“The ATSB found that when setting up the aircraft’s flight management and guidance system, the captain inadvertently entered the wrong longitudinal position of the aircraft,” they added.

The ATSB also discovered that the aircraft was not outfitted with an enhanced flight control system that would have stopped the data record error.

“The flight crew attempted to troubleshoot and rectify the situation under the heavy workload,” the ATSB said.

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“Combined with limited guidance from the available checklists, this resulted in further errors by the flight crew in the diagnosis and actioning of flight deck switches,” ATSB added.

The Malaysian group experienced its first deadly accident in December 2014, when AirAsia Flight QZ8501 crashed in rough weather conditions of Indonesia with 162 people on board.

That alternatively followed by two more Malaysian Airlines accidents in the same year which led to the deaths of around 500 people, raising questions among some travellers regarding the security of the Malaysian Airline Carriers.


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