Jetstar Flight Aborted 120m Before Landing Because Pilot Was Texting

It's pretty widely accepted that you shouldn't text and operate a vehicle. Especially when that vehicle is a commercial aircraft. Apparently, one pilot hasn't taken that advice to heart.

Upon arrival in Singapore, Jetstar flight JQ57 had to abort its landing at a frightening 120m from the ground when the pilot plum forgot to put down the landing gear because he was distracted by text messages coming in on his phone. A pilot! Operating a 220-passenger aircraft!

It really sounds like a case of two idiots that shouldn't be operating vessels full of living, breathing humans. Who were almost not so living and breathing. The captain's device started buzzing with message alerts when the plane hit an altitude of around 2000-2500 feet (600-760 metres). The co-pilot looked over and noticed the captain was "preoccupied". His superior claimed he was trying to unlock the phone to turn it off. Which would have been fine, had he, with his 13,000 hours of flying experience, remembered standard operating procedures like activating the landing gear.

At 1000 feet (300m), the first officer checked the instruments and felt like something was off, though he couldn't tell what it was, despite his 4000 hours of flying experience. At 720 feet (220m), a warning sounded in the cockpit to tell the pilots the wheels weren't lowered. By 650 feet (198m), the captain tried to activate the gear, but by that time, an alarm sounded to indicate that the plane had dipped below 500 feet (152m), too close to the tarmac for the undercarriage to get safely into place.

The co-pilot told investigators that by this point he was ready to take the plane back into the air to avoid a crash. At a dangerously small window of 392 feet (120m), that's what they did. [The Age via TheNextWeb]

Image: MC_PP/Shutterstock

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