Air Berlin pilot's goodbye draws watchdog's scrutiny


The flight had originated in Miami. Go-around maneuvers are frequent occurrences in the aviation industry, as adverse weather conditions often force pilots to postpone landings.

About 200 people were reportedly onboard the plane, which eventually landed on Monday morning, while anxious onlookers feared it would crash.

An airport employee even feared the plane would smash into the terminal.

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The stunt was believed to be a farewell stunt on the insolvent carrier's final flight to the airport, which has served as its base.

"It's too high, it's too high", one person can be heard gasping on the video.

Videos of the incident show the plane appearing set down for a landing before it tilts sharply to the left and flies around the control tower. "We are taking the incident very seriously", an Air Berlin spokesperson told Reuters, adding that the incident raised questions that had to be answered as part of the investigation.

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The German media is saying that it was the pilot's unique way of saying goodbye to his passengers and to the airline as it heads for its last rites, as it were.

People in the tower can be heard clapping when the aircraft arrives, and the captain explains, in German, that Air Berlin will "cease its long-distance flights tomorrow".

Stefan Commessmann, a Federal Aviation Office spokesman said the action pulled by the pilot of Air Berlin pilot's "differs from the usual maneuver and the reason for it needs to be clarified", Business Insider reported.

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