Dangerous Skavsta landing “due to marriage problems”

A pilot who landed a plane too fast in what an Irish air accident report described on Thursday as a "serious incident" had been suffering marital problems and was to due to return to his homeland Australia.

The unnamed 38-year-old Australian was on his last trip for Ireland’s low-cost airline Ryanair when the incident occurred on a flight between London’s Stansted airport and Skavsta near Stockholm on July 21, 2004.

The pilot had begun his descent to approach the airport too late and as a result flew the Boeing 737 “outside normal operator and manufacturer’s parameters” as he came in to land, according to the report.

Despite the mistake, he managed to land the plane safely with 184 passengers and five other crew on board.

The pilot told investigators his lack of concentration at the time “was directly attributable to physiological and psychological fatigue”.

He explained he had been experiencing marital difficulties over the past six months and his family had already returned to Australia.

The pilot, who had worked for Ryanair for four-and-a-half years, admitted that he should have called in sick on the day of the flight, but decided to go to work because he did not want to let the company down.

The report said it was “fortuitous” the landing was carried out safely.

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