Pilots issued a Mayday distress call telling air traffic controllers they were losing airspeed shortly after taking off from Brisbane airport for Singapore.
The radioed, “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday, we lost our airspeed,” and asked for emergency vehicles to meet it as it landed safely with a full fuel load 40 minutes later.
The incident happened last November 21 on board an Airbus A330 and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) has just released its interim report.
It is blaming a nest built by mud dauber wasps, which have previously caused two planes to crash in 1980 and 1996 killing 223 people.
The latest incident is puzzling experts because the Etihad jet had only been on the Brisbane tarmac for two hours for a stop-off on its way back to Abu Dhabi via Singapore. The wasps, which are covered in mud and sand, had built their nest in a pitot tube on the under side of the plane’s fuselage.
The pitot tube is crucial for measuring airspeed during the flight. Investigators found the crew believed they were losing speed as the monitor malfunctioned.
Passenger jet carrying 175 people makes EMERGENCY landing due to a WASP … – Express.co.uk
wasp nest – Google News