Ryanair disputes 'near-crash' claim at Memmingen airport

Dec 11, 2012

German aviation report says pilot demanded runway change to save time after delayed take-off

BUDGET airline Ryanair is disputing a German aviation report that claims one of its aircraft nearly crashed after the pilots tried to make up for lost time.

The Boeing 737, carrying 153 passengers, took off 25 minutes late from Manchester airport. The airline is a stickler for punctuality and the pilot sought permission to land at Memmingen Airport in Bavaria on Runway 24 instead of the scheduled Runway 6 to save time on taxiing on landing.

It is claimed the crew then set the autopilot incorrectly for the new approach and the plane descended too quickly, resulting in an emergency pull-up.

The German Federal Bureau of Aircraft Accidents Investigation classified what happened on 23 September as a "serious incident". At one point the plane was just a second away from disaster – dropping at 500ft per second when it was just 450ft above ground. The report said that, according to the flight recorder, a warning sounded with the words: "Terrain, terrain, pull up".

Ryanair reported the incident but said it was disputing some of elements of the German report, blaming "high tail-winds" for the incident which took place in September.

A spokesman told the Daily Mail: "Ryanair flight FR3214 on September 23 was on its final approach to the runway in Memmingen when they encountered unexpectedly high tail-winds.
"The crew decided to initiate a go-around procedure in line with Ryanair operating policy. After they had already commenced the go-around the aircraft warning systems sounded and the crew completed their go-around, landing normally a short time later. This incident was reported to the Irish Aviation Authority on September 24 and is the subject of an ongoing investigation."

The incident occurred just days after news emerged that several Ryanair flights had been involved in emergency landings which pilots said were due to low fuel readings.

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I find it very disturbing that pilots are allowing Ryanair to create these dangerous situations due to penny pinching. Whatever happened to passenger safety first? It appears to be a case of profit first with Ryanair. I would suggest that the pilots and their professional body imagine the worse case scenario and then imagine they were the pilot or his surviving family. Would they, could they live with that? Consider this exercise as a case of pre-hindsight. It's not 'if' it's 'when'.

Ryan Air continues to bend as many rules as possible. Another example is with customer service: the EU requires any company such as Ryan air which conducts business online to enable customers to communicate by the same method. Seems reasonable but of course Ryan Air only want to have any contact with customers if more money is to be made so it is impossible to send an email. Instead a rip-off premium rate telephone number has to be used. Quite why the EU has not done anything about this rip-off is a mystery and should be investigtaed.

Err... It wasn't dropping at 500 ft. a second - that's 340 m.p.h. straight down which is ridiculous!

Check the German Report - it says 500 ft a MINUTE.

So they had around a minute to sort things out - lots of time.

Not excusing the fact they came down too quickly in the earlier stages of the approach - just that it wasn't as dangerous as you quoted above.

first of all... go around in aviation are more than usual... 2nd... changing runaway also usual... and it was near disaster... how many times in aviation are near disaster landings??? does anyone landed in cork with high and strong winds and rain??? thats a landing... and near disaster? But It wasnt,,, so it shows ryanair has good pilots... How many airplanes crashes hapened since ryanair started compared to other airlines... I worked for them as CCM and is as secure as any other. The conditions for CCM is another story... but the security checks are as good as in any other airline... ( and i know a maintenance worker from TAP in porto airport that also does maintenance in Ryanair aircrafts.) And failures... check global airlines news everysingle day.... there is always something... the thing is that ryanair gets more projection!