Travel News

LATAM pilot told those on board he temporarily lost control of Boeing 787 – report

The pilot of the LATAM Airlines flight in the middle of an investigation into an incident that left 50 people injured allegedly told passengers that he temporarily lost control of the Boeing 787 due to a malfunctioning instrument.

A LATAM Airlines flight on Monday flying from Australia to New Zealand dropped abruptly mid-air following what was described as a “technical event”. The incident threw some of the passengers out of their seats with many hitting the roof of the plane and suffering injuries.

An investigation has been launched into the incident by the Chilean Aeronautical Authority as the aircraft involved was registered in Chile.

Brian Jokat, one among the 263 passengers and nine crew members on the flight, said he was asleep before the incident happened and woke up to see individuals “stuck to the roof” fall to the floor.

He said the aircraft “dropped something to the effect of 500 feet instantly”, according to CNN.

“That’s when I opened my eyes and there was various individuals at the top of the plane. Just stuck to the roof and then they fell to the floor. And then I just realized I’m not in a movie, this is actually for real,” Mr Jokat said.

After the landing at the Auckland airport, the passenger said the pilot explained that he “lost control of the plane” and that “my gauges just kind of went blank on me”.

“He said for that brief moment he couldn’t control anything and that’s when the plane did what it did. Then he said the gauges came back and it reengaged, the plane just reengaged to its normal flight pattern. And we had no issues before, no issues after. But just that moment.”

A paramedic walks onboard as passengers look on, after an incident on a LATAM Airlines Boeing 787, in Auckland

(Brian Adam Jokat via REUTERS)

Photos taken by Mr Jokat following the incident showed damage sustained to the ceiling of the airplane where he said fellow passengers had hit it.

LATAM Airlines on Thursday said in a statement that “it continues to work coordinately with the respective authorities to support the investigation”. The airlines, however, said that it will be inappropriate to comment on “speculations”.

It comes as a possible movement of the pilot’s seat in the cockpit has come to the centre of focus of the probe into the sudden mid-air dive, aviation industry publication Air Current reported on Wednesday.

The report, citing a senior airline safety official, claimed that the seat movement was “pilot induced, not intentional”, based on the information available.

“The seat movement caused the nose down” angle of the aircraft, the publication said, citing another anonymous source who added the possibility of an electrical short was also under review.

The cause of the flight’s apparent sudden change in trajectory has not yet been explained. Safety experts say most airplane accidents are caused by a cocktail of factors that need to be thoroughly investigated.

New Zealand Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) said because the incident occurred in international airspace, it fell to Chilean accident investigation authority Direccion General de Aeronautica Civil (DGAC) to open an inquiry.

A view of the damage sustained to the ceiling of the airplane after an incident on a LATAM Airlines Boeing 787, in Auckland

(Brian Adam Jokat via REUTERS)

LATAM Airlines, a Chilean-Brazilian carrier, said it “deeply” regretted “any inconvenience and discomfort this situation may have caused its passengers”.

It said the plane suffered “a technical event during the flight which caused a strong movement”.

Mr Jokat said he saw people screaming and crying while fearing for his own life. “It was mass chaos for a few short seconds,” the passenger said. “Clearly there was a moment in my head that I just kind of resigned to the fact this could be it. This might be it.”

Source link

Share with your friends!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get more stuff like this
in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.