Glasgow & West Scotland

Anxiety attack forces pilot from cockpit

Glasgow Airport Image copyright Glasgow Airport

A pilot had an anxiety attack while preparing to land an aircraft with 148 passengers at Glasgow Airport, air investigators have revealed.

The flight's other pilot took over the landing in September last year, according to a report by the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB).

An ambulance met the aircraft when it landed safely in Glasgow.

Investigators found the pilot had been affected by an aborted landing in Majorca the previous day.

He later returned to flying.

The report revealed that the flight from London Stansted to Glasgow on 30 September last year had "proceeded normally with the co-pilot as pilot flying" but that "over the course of this flight the co-pilot began to suffer from anxiety".

'Annoyed with himself'

The other pilot, known as the commander, mentioned a difference in wind speed as they made the approach to Glasgow and the co-pilot then felt unable to continue to operate the aircraft, an Airbus A319-111, and left the cockpit.

Investigators found that this was significant as on 29 September the co-pilot had to abandon a landing at Palma de Mallorca airport after a change in the wind pushed the aircraft to the runway edge.

The commander pilot, who was more experienced, took over and executed the aborted landing.

The AAIB report states the commander recalled that the co‑pilot seemed "subdued" and "annoyed with himself" but the commander did not feel that there was cause for concern.

The co-pilot reported that he felt increasingly nervous during the flights to and from Stansted and was "over-thinking" the need to do a good approach and that eventually his "emotions and associated physical symptoms overwhelmed him".