Ver Angola


Union in solidarity with the performance of the pilot of a flight affected by severe turbulence

The Angolan pilots' union expressed this Friday its solidarity with the decision to continue the trip of the commander of the TAAG Luanda-Lisbon flight, affected, this Thursday, by severe turbulence, admitting that the injured passengers could not have their seat belts fastened.


The president of the Union of Pilots of Angola, Miguel Prata, who was also on board the plane, as a passenger, said that for about two hours after take-off, the aircraft passed through a zone of severe turbulence, when it was finishing the service on board, with a variation in altitude.

"And that, unfortunately, although the [indicators for the] seat belts were on, probably some passengers and some crew members might not have their seat belts fastened, which is why our recommendation, many times, to keep seat belts fastened whenever they are seated, because these are phenomena of nature that cannot always be foreseen", he said.

The captain and crew, after assessing the condition of the wounded on board and the airworthiness of the aircraft, opted to "continue the journey", which Miguel Prata believes was the right decision.

"And, indeed, we were able to analyze that there was a certain apparatus upon the arrival in Lisbon, of some ambulances, which was as a precaution to guarantee all possible and necessary assistance to anyone who had been injured", he stressed.

The union president stressed that "most went down by their own foot, some assisted".

"But there was nothing serious, because otherwise I strongly believe that the commander returned or even eventually landed at the nearest airport," he noted.

"Let's believe that it was the right decision, I trust, TAAG [Angolan airline] certainly assessed the company and I don't believe that the commander had taken a decision that was not the right one", he added.

Ten situations of people with minor injuries were reported, including eight passengers and two crew members, who were immediately given first aid on board by cabin crew and activated the emergency services on land, which were on standby upon arrival of the aircraft at Humberto Delgado airport in Lisbon.

TAAG stresses, in a note about the incident, that after observation and assessment by the medical team, only two passengers and one crew member were sent to the hospital for additional checks, and the remaining passengers managed to disembark without assistance.

The airline highlighted that the aircraft will be inspected by the competent authorities, and an investigation into the occurrence is also underway.

"It is important to clarify that the severe turbulence recorded on this flight occurred in the open sky, a type of turbulence not detectable by the instruments and in a geographical location significantly close to the final destination (Portugal) and the captain made the decision indicated in the protocol to continue the journey, within the initial flight plan", says the statement.

The company noted that other situations of the kind have already occurred in the past, "and TAAG will continue to guarantee the operational safety of flights", highlighting "the capacity and pride of the crew in providing immediate assistance to passengers in a very challenging situation, as well as the decisions taken by the commander in controlling the aircraft despite adverse weather conditions and landing safely at the stipulated final destination, with people safe and sound".


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