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Published: Sat, October 21, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Investigation launched into Air Berlin pilot's 'farewell flyover'

Investigation launched into Air Berlin pilot's 'farewell flyover'

The pilots of an Air Berlin flight that performed a fly-past during the insolvent carrier's last long-haul flight to its hub in Duesseldorf have been suspended, the airline said on Wednesday.

The last Air Berlin transatlantic flight that flew from Miami to Düsseldorf in Germany on Monday, took two turns to land on the runway at the Düsseldorf airport - an unexplained move that was captured by many who were standing by the glass windows of the airport, according to a Business Insider report.

The pilot under investigation reportedly received clearance from air traffic control to steer the plane dangerously close to the terminal. The flyby is being seen as a final salute to the airline, which filed for bankruptcy back in August.

The Air Berlin spokesman said the videos raised questions that had to be answered as part of the investigation.

The plane appears to make a landing attempt at Dusseldorf Airport, before regaining speed and altitude, then making a sharp left to "show its wings". Go-around maneuvers are frequent occurrences in the aviation industry, as adverse weather conditions often force pilots to postpone landings.

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

"Electing to do one if it is known not to be required adds an unnecessary risk", he said.

The plane eventually landed safely and no passengers made a complaint, the company said.

This was the last Air Berlin worldwide flight out of the United States.

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".

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