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|December 2, 2010|
Co-pilo's seat adjustment causes Air India jet to plunge a terrifying 7,000-ft
Washington: Passengers on an Air India Express flight were nearly killed when a co-pilot tried to move his seat and accidentally sent the airliner into a terrifying 7,000-foot plunge. The 25-year old co-pilot was adjusting his seat forward but instead pressed the control
column forward, putting the Boeing 737 into a 26-degree nosedive, reports ABC
News. The disclosure came in a report by India 's Directorate General of Civil
Aviation. The May 25 flight from Dubai to Pune carried 113 passengers. No one
was injured and the aircraft did not sustain any damage. The co-pilot was alone
in the cockpit as the pilot was taking a restroom break. The co-pilot ‘got in
a panic situation’ and was not only unable to control the aircraft but was also
unable to open the cockpit door, the report said. The 39-year-old pilot then used
a secret code to gain access to the cockpit and pull the plane out of its dive.
He also told passengers, who were in the middle of a meal, that the plane ‘went
through an air pocket, and that is why there was a rapid descent’. The aircraft
would have broken apart if the descent had continued, the report said. The Directorate
General of Civil Aviation said that the young co-pilot had not been trained to
handle the situation and ‘probably had no clue to tackle this kind of emergency’.
The incident occurred three days after another Air India Express plane overshot
a runway at an airport in Mangalore , India , went over a cliff and burst into
flames, killing 158 people.
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