Co-Pilot Adjusts Seat, Plane Plunges

Report exposes crazy Air India near-disaster
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 1, 2010 3:03 AM CST
The report didn't say whether or not the co-pilot is still flying for Air India.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The 113 passengers aboard an Air India flight earlier this year almost didn't survive the pilot's bathroom break, reports CNN. The co-pilot adjusted his seat while the pilot was out of the cockpit, accidentally bumping the control column and sending the plane into a sudden, steep 7,000-foot dive, according to a report released by Indian civil aviation authorities.

When the pilot attempted to re-enter the cockpit, the co-pilot was so panicked he was unable to trigger the door latch. The pilot used an emergency code to get into the locked cockpit and managed to bring the plane out of its dive. Investigators say the plane, which had accelerated to almost the speed of the sound, would have fallen apart if the dive had continued. The co-pilot, 25, "probably had no clue how to tackle this kind of emergency," the report concludes.

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