Airberlin Had An Epic Aborted Landing On Their Last Transatlantic Flight

Filed Under: Airberlin

Airberlin will be shutting down by October 28, though they operated their last longhaul flight on October 15, as their A330s are being repossessed. So airberlin’s last longhaul flights landed in Dusseldorf on Monday morning (yesterday), October 16.

Well, it looks like the last longhaul airberlin flight to land back at Dusseldorf, AB7001, had an interesting go around, to say the least. Here’s a video of the go around:

And here’s a video with a view from the terminal, where you can see that passengers are terrified, given the angle (I would be too if I were in the terminal, as it looks like the plane is coming straight for it):

So was this a necessary go around executed in the normal way, or just airberlin pilots having some fun on their last day of work? The jury is still out, it seems.

The plane appears to be too high on the approach, so the pilots execute a go around, which in and of itself isn’t unusual. However, as you can see, the go around comes in the form of a sharp bank to the left, in a way I’ve never seen a go around with a full plane happen before (this go around almost looks like something you’d see at an airshow).

While this isn’t the standard go around procedure for the airport, the company claims that air traffic control gave the plane permission to turn left in the case of an aborted landing (even if that deviates from the normal go around procedure).

However, according to, the German federal aviation authority is looking into the incident, and airberlin says they “full support the LBA in its work” (for as long as they’re around, which isn’t very long).

Either way, the pilots put on a heck of a show (especially for airline employees and air traffic controllers), though clearly the maneuver scared some.

What we don’t know is if the go around was actually necessary (or if the pilots just wanted to have some fun on their last day of work), or if the way in which they executed the go around was truly the “standard” way to do it.

What do you make of airberlin’s final longhaul go around?

(Tip of the hat to View from the Wing)

  1. The fact the view from the control tower shows several people filming implies to me that this was planned execution, with permission.

  2. Clearly discussed in advance with ATC according tot heir reaction on the first video… Well done! Go out with a bang.

  3. First of all there is nothing called an aborted landing. And a go around or missed approach is completly normal and safe

    Second of all, this is neither for that. This is a low approach, overflying the runway. That is something fairly common, and I guess a nice gesture to mark their final long haul flight.

  4. You can clearly see in the second video that the plane holds steady AGL as they fly over a large portion of the runway, then perform the bank left maybe half way. This looks identical to the display jets put on at air shows. With ATC videoing like this too, there is no question in my mind it was planned. Hopefully the PIC gave passengers a heads up.

  5. I will. miss the best redemption for British Avios in manland Europe

    I liked AB, domestically, specially the heart chocolates !

    you know the rule, One carrier, higher prices !

  6. Is anyone taking over the JFK-DUS route? I adored it. in my experience, DUS is possible the quickest place in EU to clear immigration. Generally (though not in the last year), J award availability was excellent, even for 2 people. much better availability than AY, IB and AA (hah!). the cabin wasn’t Singapore Suites, but it was all-aisle-access with decent food and friendly FA’s.

  7. Looked intentional, but I wonder if the passengers were in the know. Lucky, can you translate what the ATCs were saying?

  8. Lucky, as someone else said above, would you be able to translate what the ATC people and the passengers are saying in both videos? Be curious what their reactions were! But even not knowing what they were saying, I feel this seemed pretty intentional. Hopefully the passengers onboard knew as well!

  9. Definitely intentional. For those wanting a translation, I didn’t catch the whole thing but once of the controllers jokes that the plane is too high, and the other controllers laugh. As the plane banks left, a different controller jokingly gives taxi instructions to the pilot. Clearly a staged event.

  10. For those who have not followed it but if you apply the duck test, this is an orchestrated fire sale of Air Berlin to Lufthansa who was/is mainly interested in the slots. The current CEO of AB is former LH manager and the long haul routes were intentionally dismantled while stringing the employees along. Especially cockpit and cabin crew. There was never an intent to keep AB flying through a US Chapter 11 style bankruptcy but mere to keep it afloat so the slots are not lost until a deal can be brokered. There were several buyers who wanted to buy the whole airline but they were dismissed. So, sum total, this was likely those two pilot’s flight in a long time. What’s a little license suspension under the circumstances? But it will never happen. I am certain any investigation will reveal that the pilot saw something on the runway… As to the passengers…you were on a historic flight you can tell your children about as you will fly with LH from DUS to MIA…

  11. You got souls on board who didn’t sign up for your stunt. Land your plane and act like a pro. Use your own equipment for your games, with your buddies, not with paying customers who are right to expect passage from point to point without involuntarily being made part of an airshow. It’s horseshit. Absolute, unprofessional, horseshit.

  12. Ummm..Very. Well. Said Larry!

    Im a pilot, and thats a really stupid dangerous go around, obviously staged and deliberate.

    Far from epic, plus I’d say they will end in court if not jail, performing low altitude turns towards the terminal full of people. Total idiots, giving pilots a bad name too.

  13. Someone needs to set the flyover video from the tower to the background music in Top Gun when Maverick and Goose buzz the tower.

    @Mike G and @Kevin – well played Top Gun reference.

  14. This was planned, with permission and the passengers on the plane knew about it. The pilot actually held a small speech thanking the passengers for their loyalty.

  15. This had to have been planned as otherwise there wouldnt have been so many ATC staff filming. It was great to watch and must have been awesome to be on the plane while doing that, but to call it epic is a little too far

  16. I’m surprised you even had to ask this. As it was the last flight the airline would be taking they wanted to “buzz” the control tower one last time, as a way of saying thanks for all the years of service. It should have been very obvious from his approach that he wasn’t planning on landing. He was too high and too slow. The fact that he banked left and flew past the control tower, with the staff filming and clapping should have given you your answer. Why would the jury still be out on this? Doesn’t take a genius to figure out this was planned

  17. The passengers on the plane knew about it?

    Are any of the people posting here pilots who think this ok?

    These are your charges. You have their lives in your hands. They can’t give you permission knowingly. An announcement is not nearly enough. They are strapped in and have no choice. I suppose if you gave them all permission to disembark.

    Is it a beautiful airshow and understandable and even “cool” from the perspective of a viewer? Sure. It’s still absolute unprofessional horseshit.

  18. Nothing wrong with a fly-by. Safe, safe, safe!! Not even a steep turn. Please……move along, nothing to see here.

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