Texting Pilot Forgot to Lower Wheels

Forcing Jetstar flight to abort landing just 392 feet from ground
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 19, 2012 10:38 AM CDT
A JetStar passenger jet takes off ... let's hope it remembers to put its wheels down.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – If you get bugged by drivers who text, you'll likely be infuriated by this tale ... of texting while flying. The Age reports on the newly revealed May 2010 incident, in which a Jetstar plane had to abort a landing just 392 feet above the ground because the wheels were still up. Why weren't they lowered? The captain of the Darwin, Australia, to Singapore flight was busy reading text messages. Investigators uncovered a slew of errors that kicked in somewhere above 2,000 feet, as the captain's phone started signaling new texts.

The co-pilot of the 220-seat Airbus A320 apparently saw him "preoccupied with his mobile phone" and reported that he didn't answer his requests twice. The co-pilot realized something was amiss at 1,000 feet, but couldn't figure out what. The captain reportedly tried to lower the wheels at 650 feet, but an alarm sounded, indicating they didn't fully engage and the landing was aborted. The pilot claims he had forgotten to turn off his phone, and was just trying to unlock it so he could do so.

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