Um…uh…er…Wholly freakin crap! What text message could possibly be more important than safely landing a 220 seat airbus, Mr. Pilot?
The problems aboard JQ57 began when the co-pilot, the first officer, switched off the autopilot on the 220-seat Airbus A320 to make preparations to land.
Somewhere between 2500 feet and 2000 feet, the captain’s mobile phone started beeping with incoming text messages, and the captain twice did not respond to the co-pilot’s requests.
The co-pilot looked over and saw the captain “preoccupied with his mobile phone”, investigators said. The captain told investigators he was trying to unlock the phone to turn it off, after having forgotten to do so before take-off.
At 1000 feet, the co-pilot scanned the instruments and felt “something was not quite right” but could not spot what it was.
At this stage the captain still did not realise the landing gear had not been lowered, and neither pilot went through their landing checklist.
At 720 feet, a cockpit alert flashed and sounded to warn that the wheels still hadn’t been lowered.
At 650 feet, the captain moved the undercarriage lever “instinctively” but then a “too low” ground-warning alarm sounded as the plane sunk through 500 feet, indicating the landing gear was not fully extended and locked.
The co-pilot was confused by the captain’s action in lowering the wheels, as he was getting ready to do quite the opposite to abort the landing and re-ascend to the skies, investigators said.
Neither spoke to each other about their intentions.
At 392 feet, the crew aborted the landing and powered up the thrust.
At this time the pilots had lost track of their altitude, thinking they were much higher, at about 800 feet.
A further piloting error occurred, with the wrong flap setting during the ascent.
When the mistakes were recreated in a simulator, investigators determined there were two minutes of descent, from 2800 feet to 1000 feet, where the pilots failed to take any necessary actions, including putting the wheels down.
Thankfully things turned out ok and nobody was killed. But really, who does that? And why am I not seeing anything about a firing in here?
Get some help, man. You clearly have a text addiction problem.