50 Injured on Flight After Pilot’s Seat Moves and Accidental Dive is Initiated

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The incident in which a plane from the Chilean airline Latam Airlines suddenly nose-dived on Monday may have occurred because the pilot’s seat moved unexpectedly. This is reported by the specialized The Air Current, on the authority of two people with knowledge of the research.

 

According to a source, investigators are focusing on why the seat moved because, as far as is known, the pilot did not consciously try to move it. A short circuit is also being investigated as a possible route. New Zealand authorities have seized the black boxes of the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has been plagued for months by reports of technical malfunctions with their aircraft.

The plane had taken off from Sydney, Australia, a few hours earlier and was still an hour away from its destination “when the plane suddenly fell out of the sky,” passenger Brian Jokat told New Zealand news channel Stuff. A video of the tumultuous flight posted online shows one person lying unconscious in the middle of the aisle while others hold their heads in pain and shock.

“The whole plane was screaming.”
“I woke up after a nap when I suddenly saw my neighbour stuck to the ceiling,” said Jokat. “He was hanging there in the air, with his back against the ceiling, only to fall and hit his head on the armrest. The whole plane was screaming.”

During the dive, Jokat thought he and all his fellow passengers were done for. “Even the pilot was shocked,” it said. “He told us that all his meters had simply failed and that he had suddenly lost all control of the plane.”

50 injured
After the short dive, the pilot regained control and landed safely a little later. Once landed in Auckland, emergency services treated at least fifty people on board. Twelve of them had to be taken to a nearby hospital, and one person was said to be in serious condition.

Latam Airlines admitted that a “technical event” during the flight caused a “strong movement”. However, the airline spokesperson also noted that the flight landed in Auckland “as planned”. “The injured passengers received immediate assistance and were transferred to a hospital if necessary,” it added. “We regret the inconvenience and injuries suffered by our passengers. Safety on board is our priority.”

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