MIAMI — An Air Berlin Airbus A330-200 operating the airline’s last transatlantic flight, performed a dramatic go-around maneuver over Dusseldorf Airport’s terminal as it came in for landing. The maneuver marked the end of the airline’s long-haul operations before its scheduled shut down on October 28.
Update: The pilots have been suspended, the airline said on Wednesday. “In aviation, safety always comes first. We are taking the incident very seriously,” said Air Berlin in a statement.
— stern Reise (@stern_reise) October 17, 2017
Air Berlin’s Airbus A330-200 D-ABXA operated flight AB7001 from Miami (MIA). The aircraft was originally delivered to Swissair in 1999.
As the A330 approached the runway’s threshold, it held its altitude at approximately 150ft above the runway and elegantly accelerated on a climbing left turn, passing over the airport’s terminal. The plane then climbed to 3,800ft and performed a standard approach to the runway.
According to Ralf Kunkel, a spokesman for Air Berlin, the maneuver was more a “lap of honor” than a go-around. However the German Aviation Authority (LBA) is investigating the incident.
The spokesman also said that this was a pre-planned maneuver and that it was coordinated with local Air Traffic Control. In fact, the video was recorded from the airport’s control tower, from where claps could be heard as the A330 performed the majestic maneuver.
A few minutes later, the A330 came back to a successful landing and was greeted by a water cannon salute, recorded from the aircraft’s flight deck by one of the pilots.
Kunkel informed that Air Berlin fully supports the LBA’s investigation, which was launched to determine whether the pilots broke any regulations and endangered the lives of the 220 passengers on board.