A real tragedy had been avoided: a Ryanair flight, with 166 passengers on board, was 40 seconds from crashing.
Sylvie Claire / June 29, 2020
A report on the incident on the Ryanair flight from London Standted Airport to Bergerac in 2015 was published late last week by BEA, the French aviation regulator.
On January 29 of that year, an alarm sounded in the cockpit of the Boeing 737 in question. Flight conditions were poor and the aircraft had flown at a particularly low altitude for more than two minutes over the Dordogne.
According to the Independent, who relays the data contained in the report, "while it was 250 m above the ground, the plane was able to be rectified in time by the pilot. If the pilot had been unable to resume control, the aircraft would have crashed within 40 seconds a few dozen meters from the runway. With its 166 passengers on board ”.
Finally, the pilot was able to land 20 minutes later, and bring back to the ground the 166 passengers who were on board. If six people had been slightly injured in this incident, a real tragedy had been avoided.
According to the BEA (Bureau of Investigation and Analysis for Civil Aviation Safety), the incident was caused due to poor preparation of the landing approach. It was probably "incomplete" or "imprecise". In addition to that, some airport navigation aids were not operational.
If the captain was experienced, that was not the case with his co-pilot, who was only 27 years old and 400 hours of experience.
We also learn that, since this incident, Ryanair has changed its operational procedures.