Qantas pilots enter wrong data, risk plane 'falling from sky'
Qantas pilots on a domestic flight carrying more than 100 people in Australia made two unsuccessful landing attempts after programming the flight computers with the wrong data.
The pilot accidentally entered the Boeing 717's weight at 9.5 tonnes - lighter than it really was - messing up the landing angle and speed calculations, causing two 'stick shaker' activations, in which the cockpit is warned of an aerodynamic stall - when the plane is no longer aerodynamically stable and in danger of dropping from the sky.
The data input error occurred on a flight to Kalgoorlie, and the co-pilot also failed to notice the captain's mistake, reports news.com.au.
According to stuff.co.nz, the first stick shaker warning occurred at 335 metres, and again during the second landing attempt at 106 metres.
The pilots managed to land the plane successfully on the third attempt, but the Australian Transport Safety Bureau found the pilots failed to deal with the warnings adequately, attributing them to turbulence.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, investigators found the captain who made the weight mistake had been "subject to numerous [roster] changes that had made it difficult to manage his level of fatigue".
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