A Flybe Airlines flight from Cardiff to Paris had to turn around because of fog at Charles De Gaulle Airport. The fog did not force the airport to close. Rather, the pilot, a man with 30 years of experience, had never completed low-visibility training for the particular aircraft that he was flying.
Passengers on the flight were stunned when, 20 minutes shy of De Gaulle, the pilot got on the PA system and, instead of announcing the imminent arrival, said the following:
‘Unfortunately I’m not qualified to land the plane in Paris. They are asking for a level two qualification and I only have a level five. We’ll have to fly back.’
And fly back they did. The bizarre incident is nothing if not humorous, but I doubt the passengers on the flight were amused.
A spokesman for the Civil Aviation Authority said that such a situation was rare, but not unheard of. “There are different classifications of aircraft and when an aircraft is updated, pilot’s who have flown an older version have to completely retrain.”