October 19, 2017
Air Berlin Pilots Suspended after Fly-By Maneuver

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A couple days ago we wrote about Air Berlin conducting a very questionable landing as its A330 aircraft approached Dusseldorf. This was the airline’s last long haul flight. The German carrier is bankrupt and is currently selling its assets to the highest bidder. The pilots said they “wanted to make a mark, a dignified and emotional goodbye” with the flight. The pilot essentially brought the plane down to about 50 feet above the runway, aborted the landing, and veered the aircraft left-flying just above the terminal building in the process.

Although this wasn’t a particularly dangerous move, it adds unnecessary risk to the flight. Air Berlin has since suspended the pilots. The airline said “In aviation, safety always comes first. We are taking the incident very seriously.” That’s all good, but Air Berlin is bankrupt. What does it mean to be suspended from an insolvent airline?