EasyJet Flight Close to Catastrophe: Was 30 Seconds from Disaster

Written by Henrik Rothen

Feb.06 - 2024 7:43 PM CET

Photo: Shutterstock.com
Photo: Shutterstock.com
EasyJet Flight Close to Catastrophe.

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In a harrowing incident last November, an EasyJet flight, EZY3291, narrowly averted disaster while attempting to land at Geneva Airport, with pilots having a mere 30 seconds to prevent the aircraft from crashing into Lake Geneva. This critical situation, unknown to the 157 passengers onboard the Airbus A320neo, has come to light through a recent investigation by the Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board (SUST).

Foreign media outlets, including 20 minutes and Tages-Anzeiger, have reported on the SUST's findings, revealing how the aircraft significantly deviated below the standard descent line during its landing approach. Specifically, instead of maintaining the safe altitude of 750 meters above water, the plane descended to a perilous height of just 230 meters.

This deviation triggered an alarm in the control tower at Cointrin Airport, signaling the imminent risk of an accident.

30 Seconds

Thanks to the pilots' quick response to correct their course, a tragedy was averted, ensuring the safety of everyone on board. The exact reasons behind the deviation from the descent line remain unclear, prompting SUST to initiate a thorough investigation into the incident.

The aviation community has praised the pilots for their swift action in rectifying the flight path and preventing potential catastrophe. An experienced Airbus A320 pilot familiar with Geneva landings commented on the incident to Tages-Anzeiger, emphasizing the immediacy of the response required in such critical moments, "In a situation like this, you don't think. You just push the throttle to regain altitude as quickly as possible."

EasyJet has expressed its support for the ongoing investigation, which is expected to conclude within 18 months. In the interim, the involved pilots have been temporarily relieved of their duties as the investigation seeks to determine the cause of the near-miss and prevent similar incidents in the future.

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