Air Berlin Pilots Suspended for Buzzing the Control Tower

Oct 19, 2017

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On Monday morning, the pilots of the last Air Berlin transatlantic flight pulled a sharp left turn just before landing, flying next to the air traffic control tower and just over the airport terminal. Immediately, it was announced that German aviation authorities were “looking into the incident.”

Now, we have more details about the fallout from the stunt: On Wednesday, Air Berlin announced it’s suspending both of the pilots for the action. “In aviation, safety always comes first. We are taking the incident very seriously,” an Air Berlin spokesman told Fortune. However, the identities of the pilots have not been shared.

One of the pilots spoke with German public television station Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, explaining: “we wanted to make a mark, a dignified and emotional goodbye.” While the airline reportedly hasn’t received any complaints from the incident, some observers in the airport’s terminal reacted with  shock and seemingly fear of the aircraft crashing into the airport:

While it’s never good to be suspended by your employer, this isn’t going to be much of a punishment for the pilots. The flight in question was the last transatlantic flight by the airline, and the bankrupt company ceases operations on October 25. It’s possible that the A330 pilots weren’t even scheduled to fly again anyway.

Request for comment from The Points Guy haven’t been returned by the airline.

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