Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The ANA Flight NH140 Incident

A Japanese airline says one of its jets nose-dived and rolled almost upside down on September 6, 2011 because the co-pilot hit the wrong controls while trying to open the cockpit door so the captain could return from a restroom break.

Two flight attendants were slightly hurt and four passengers got airsick when the All Nippon Airways Boeing 737-700 with 117 people aboard descended sharply, veered off course and went belly up over the Pacific on its way from southern Japan to Tokyo on September 6.

ANA said yesterday that the co-pilot is believed to have mistakenly hit the rudder controls instead of the door lock to allow the pilot back in the cockpit. It said the crew managed to stabilise the plane after the co-pilot's error and land it safely. Japan's Transport Safety Board is investigating.

A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority told MailOnline that there could have been other factors involved in the drama as the banking of an aircraft is actually controlled by foot pedals. He reassured passengers that airliners can roll heavily and safely, but don't normally rotate more than five degrees 'for the sake of stopping passengers' drinks from spilling'.

He said: 'The angles of bank that most airliners use are very small so that passengers don’t experience any discomfort, but the aircraft can structurally handle much more and have to go through a full certification process before they enter service with ground and air testing.'

Source :  http://averon.org

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