Sky-High Scare: Flight Forced to Turn Around After Pilot Reveals He's Not Qualified to Fly
Passengers on a Virgin Atlantic flight from London to New York were in for a shock on Monday.
But at the end of the day, once you board a plane, you're putting your faith and trust in the pilot operating the vehicle that they will get you to your destination as safe and as quickly as possible.
But for passengers flying on Virgin Atlantic Flight VS3 from London to New York on Monday, a new fear was unlocked as the plane had to be turned when it was found that the two pilots operating the vehicle did not have the proper internal requirements to be operating the plane.
Translation: The person flying the plane was not technically qualified to be doing so.
Here's what happened.
About 40 minutes after the aircraft had left London's Heathrow airport, it was found (though not clarified precisely how) that the first officer had not completed Virgin's internal "final assessment" flight.
Since the captain was not licensed to be a trainer for the final flight, he did not pass the requirements that would have allowed the trip to be the first pilot's final assessment.
It's of note, however, that both pilots passed all of the UK flight regulation requirements, just not all of those for Virgin Airlines specifically.
The plane was hovering above Dublin at the time before the crew was made aware of the "rostering error."
Virgin apologized to passengers after the flight landed back in London and took off with a properly trained first pilot, arriving in New York nearly three hours after the originally scheduled time.
"The qualified first officer, who was flying alongside an experienced captain, was replaced with a new pilot to ensure full compliance with Virgin Atlantic's training protocols, which exceed industry standards," Virgin Atlantic said in a statement.
The incident comes at a time when airlines are facing staffing shortages and other troubles as a result of the pandemic, with a January survey from Reuters showing that nearly one-third of pilots globally are still not flying.
Entrepreneur Editors' Picks
'No One Believed' This Black Founder Was the Owner of a Liquor Brand in 2012. He Launched to Great Acclaim — Then Lost It All. Here's How He Made a Multi-Million-Dollar Comeback.
Inspired by Elon Musk's Twitter Takeover, Here Are 10 Marketing Tactics That Will Help You Make the Most of Big Changes to Your Company
These Brothers Transformed a High School Project Into the Largest Online Soccer Retailer of All Time. Here's What the World Cup Means for Business Now.
'I Just Lost All My Life Savings': Michigan Woman Lost $15,000 in Facebook Marketplace Car Scam
This Founder Was Dismayed by Food Waste in the Restaurant Industry, So She Started a Zero-Waste Grocery Line That Now Caters Events for Nike
Netflix's Secret Club Allows Members to Preview Content Before Anyone Else — But There's a Catch
Franchising Could Be the Secret to Reaping the Rewards of a Down Economy. Here Are 5 Reasons Why.