50 SKY SHADES - World aviation news

Malaysia Airlines pilot starts flying in the wrong direction

Download: Printable PDF Date: 27 Dec 2015 03:20 category:
Publisher:
Malaysia Airlines pilot starts flying in the wrong direction - Airlines publisher
Tatjana Obrazcova
Country: Australia Aircraft: Airplanes Airline: Malaysia Airlines
Source: Weatherwatch

An investigation has been launched after a Malaysia Airlines plane took off from Auckland Airport on Christmas Day and surprised the pilot with the direction it started flying.

Just eight minutes into the direct flight to Kuala Lumpur, MH132's pilot queried why his Airbus A330 was heading so far south.

He wondered why the plane was heading towards Melbourne and not taking a more direct flight path to the Malaysian capital.

It is understood passengers on board the flight, which left at 2.23am Christmas Day, were not alerted to the mix-up.

During discussions with air traffic controllers at the Auckland Oceanic control centre, the pilot was informed of the flight plan his airline had given to Airways, which manages air traffic control for New Zealand and South Pacific.

He then continued across the Tasman Sea before heading northwest to Kuala Lumpur.

Although there were no apparent safety concerns with the confusion, Airways yesterday confirmed it was investigating.

"We have an internal safety team who will investigate it," a spokeswoman said.

"The flight plan the airline filed with us was going to Kuala Lumpur but via a slightly different route than the pilot was expecting."

Airways will "work closely" with the much-maligned carrier to find out how the confusion came about, the spokeswoman said.

Last year, 577 crew and passengers lost their lives on two separate Malaysia Airlines flights. Flight MH370 disappeared between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing for unknown reasons in March and MH17 was shot down by a Russian-made missile over Ukraine in July.

The airline did not respond to requests for comment.

New Zealand aviation commentator Peter Clark praised the pilot for his actions.

"The pilot has done a very good job by noticing it, querying it and not just blindly flying off and ending up in the Southern Ocean," he said.

He said if Malaysia Airlines was now a responsible airline, "which I hope it is after everything that has happened", it would ask for an explanation and investigate.

Flights on the route often travel around the bottom of Australia to avoid bad weather or head-winds, Clark said.

"The pilot was probably not used to going that far south."

WeatherWatch head analyst Philip Duncan said he flew out of Auckland this week in "perfect conditions". A large high was settling across the Tasman Sea.

The weather between New Zealand and Kuala Lumpur was "fairly calm", but Duncan said thunderstorms across northern Australia and Papua New Guinea may have influenced Malaysia Airlines' preferred route.



Loading comments for Malaysia Airlines pilot starts flying in the wrong direction...


Recommended

Daher delivers a Kodiak 100 to its first French customer

Daher announced the delivery of a Kodiak 100 turboprop utility aircraft to the Héli-Béarn company. This aerial work operator based at Pau-Pyrénées airport (Pyré...

Welcome SR Technics new brand STRADE

SR Technics announced the launch of its new component services brand STRADE powered by SR Technics. The new brand will operate as an independent unit inside the Group. STRADE provides componen...

Eve-led aviation consortium joins UK Civil Aviation Authority to develop UAM concept of operations

A consortium of urban air mobility and aviation companies has commenced work on a concept of operations for integrating air taxis and electric vertical take-off and landing vehicles (eVTOLs) into the...

Volotea carried 3.8 M passengers in 2020 and achieved a seat load of 90.7% across its network

Volotea published its results for the full year 2020, drawing up balanced figures. Last year, the airline’s strategy has been to quickly redefine its network by shifting predominantly to a...