You may or may not have seen this story featured in the UK media, but for those of you that have it’s simply another example of bored journalists sensationalising stories in order to sell papers – and generally breeding a fear of flying amongst the general public.
In fact, SKY News reported that the passengers were ‘evacuated’ after each failed take-off attempt. The word evacuation implies an emergency situation. In truth, the passengers disembarked the aircraft as normal while technical faults were dealt with by engineers.
The summary of the story is this;
A Monarch flight from London Gatwick to Taba (Egypt) rejected take-off at low-speed (meaning they had not reached full take-off speed) three times due to technical faults, before finally departing over 8 hours late on it’s 4th attempt.
The first problem was an electrical fault, and this same problem occured on the second attempt. The faulty component was replaced.
On the third attempted take-off a fuel indicator failed, leading to the decision to abort the departure once again.
I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again. Planes have technical problems all the time. It’s not abnormal. These faults are not dangerous, but will be rectified as a precaution.
Airline’s stipulate that a take-off should be rejected if a fault is identified at any point before V1 speed (the point at which it would be safest to continue with the take-off rather than apply the brakes).
Any one of these faults would not have caused the airplane to crash, but as they appeared BEFORE V1 speed was reached, the take-off was aborted as per procedure.
It’s VERY unusual to have this three times in succession with one aircraft. But, that does not mean that the aircraft is unsafe, or the airline for that matter. In fact, it shows the opposite in my opinion.
These minor faults were fixed before departing and arriving safely at their destination. The aircraft would have made it safely to Egypt without this happening, however, safety always comes first.
There was no ‘evacuation’, and the plane was never going to crash. If the problems were that serious, Monarch would not have used that plane for the flight. Simple as that.
YES, the 355 passengers onboard would probably have been concerned – that’s only natural. But, they all travelled and therefore must have felt safe.
The pilots also agreed to fly the aircraft – and they know quite a bit about planes!
Please do not be sucked in by ridiculous, poorly researched media articles. This is common procedure.
LESSON: DO NOT PAY ANY ATTENTION TO THE MEDIA.