Brit holidaymakers terrified as pilot forced to turn back because he was still in training

pilot forced to turn back

Brit holidaymakers terrified as pilot forced to turn back because he was still in training. The flight from London’s Heathrow to New York had to quickly turn around when the mistake was realised.

The Virgin Atlantic flight had been heading to New York from London on Monday, May 2. 40 minutes into the flight the first officer piped up to say that he had not completed his final flight test.

One holidaymaker commented on the amazing mishap and said: “You could have cut the tension in the cockpit with a knife.”

After returning to Heathrow the Virgin Atlantic Airbus A330 had to wait for a more experienced replacement co-pilot.

Speaking to The Sun a source revealed: “You could have cut the tension in the cockpit with a knife.

“The plane got as far as Ireland and then they found out the first officer was still in training.

“The skipper had no choice but to go back to Heathrow and find a more experienced member of the crew.

“It was embarrassing for everyone and the passengers were furious.”

Reportedly the co-pilot on the flight had only been lacking his “final assessment flight” that is needed by Virgin Atlantic but he was considered “safe to fly” by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Commenting on the New York flight a Virgin Atlantic spokesperson stated: “Due to a rostering error, flight VS3 from London Heathrow to New York-JFK returned to Heathrow on Monday 2nd May shortly after take-off.

“The qualified first officer, who was flying alongside an experienced captain, was replaced with a new pilot to ensure full compliance with Virgin Atlantic’s training protocols, which exceed industry standards.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused to our customers who arrived two hours, 40 minutes later than scheduled as a result of the crew change.”

The pilot was reportedly sufficiently qualified and a spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority revealed: “Virgin Atlantic have made us aware of the incident.

“Both pilots were suitably licensed and qualified to undertake the flight.”

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Written by

Alex Glenn

Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at


    • Tezzski

      11 May 2022 • 21:34

      More non news.
      How is anyone supposed to get qualified if they dont fly real routes.

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