Co-pilot seat adjustment causes AI jet to plunge a terrifying 7,000-ft

December 2nd, 2010 - 5:18 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Dec 2 (ANI): Passengers on an Air India Express flight were nearly killed when a co-pilot tried to move his seat and accidentally sent the airliner into a terrifying 7,000-foot plunge.

The 25-year-old co-pilot was adjusting his seat forward but instead pressed the control column forward, putting the Boeing 737 into a 26-degree nosedive, reports ABC News.

The disclosure came in a report by India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation.

The May 25 flight from Dubai to Pune carried 113 passengers. No one was injured and the aircraft did not sustain any damage.

The co-pilot was alone in the cockpit as the pilot was taking a restroom break. The co-pilot ‘got in a panic situation’ and was not only unable to control the aircraft but was also unable to open the cockpit door, the report said.

The 39-year-old pilot then used a secret code to gain access to the cockpit and pull the plane out of its dive. He also told passengers, who were in the middle of a meal, that the plane ‘went through an air pocket, and that is why there was a rapid descent’.

The aircraft would have broken apart if the descent had continued, the report said.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation said that the young co-pilot had not been trained to handle the situation and ‘probably had no clue to tackle this kind of emergency’.

The incident occurred three days after another Air India Express plane overshot a runway at an airport in Mangalore, India, went over a cliff and burst into flames, killing 158 people. (ANI)

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