Close call for SAS plane

An SAS flight came close to crashing at Kalmar airport in April 2006, endangering the lives of 70 airline passengers, a new report has shown.

The Swedish Accident Investigation Board’s report, released on Tuesday, reinforced the view that the aircraft was close to being involved in a serious accident. Both the co-pilot and an air traffic controller were convinced that the plane was going to crash just before it was due to land.

According to the board, a routine technical error was exacerbated by the pilots’ neglect.

The plane was seriously destabilized due to problems with one of the propellers, according to the board. Instead of turning off the engine, as is recommended in such situations, the pilot chose set the engine to flight idle.

“If the pilots had followed the emergency check list the incident would not have happened,” board spokesman Stefan Christensen told TT.

He also added that SAS had failed to inform the pilots of previous incidents involving the same plane.

The board has directed criticism at SAS and the Swedish Civil Aviation Authority for their failure to guarantee the safety of the passengers.

A parallel investigation carried out by the airline reached similar conclusions.

“We share the view that the incident was very serious and we have taken a number of measures to ensure that it will not be repeated,” SAS flight manager Ola Reinholdt told TT.