Investigative Report Condemns Flight Crew
“The [first officer]…was concentrating on communications with air traffic control to such an extent that his situational awareness of what was occurring in the cockpit and of the actual aircraft state was significantly degraded.”
Investigators also criticized the pilots for not properly reporting the incident immediately, which meant the cockpit voice recording device was overwritten on the return flight to Dubai. Investigators were able to piece together bits of audio using the aircraft’s black box.
Investigators further criticized the crew for being too reliant upon one instrument and for using poor judgment and failing to communicate effectively with on another. The captain was also blamed for reaching a “stress level may have reached a point that led to anxiety and a reduction in his performance.”
As an aside, the crew made another mistake in setting up automated landing systems and had to abort its second landing attempt, finally landing safely after another go-around.
This is really a sobering story. There’s clear pilot error here and it scary how close this A380 came to crashing. Even if we assume that the aircraft warning systems would have altered the pilots to pull up in time, it should never have come to this.