By Libya Herald staff.
Tripoli, 20 January 2015:
There is still disbelief among airline professionals that a pilot could take his plane on . . .[restrict]a meandering route in and out of banned EU airspace before arriving in Istanbul more than six hours after he took off from Tripoli.
Libyan Airlines flight 192 was seen on an internet-available flight radar system to head north north east close past Malta and the southern tip of Italy where before pressing on into the Balkans. Above Montenegro it appears that the pilot was ordered by local air traffic control to turn back. All Libyan-registered aircraft are banned from EU airspace because of safety and security concerns.
From the flight path recorder by the programme FlightRadar 24, the pilot may have done a circuit off the Italian coast, perhaps after being challenged by Italian ATC. It has not yet been possible to obtain the European view of the incident from Eurocontrol, the over-arching ATC organisation for EU airspace.
Libyan Aviation News was today critical of social media reports that that captain had been lost and that on his way around EU airspace, when close to Egypt, he had had a near-miss with a Ghadames Aviation aircraft.
According to the aviation website the unnamed pilot had merely been following the old route to Istanbul which passed over Albania. When he had been challenged by EU ATC, he had flown back the way he came and then picked up the “normal route”
“What happened to the captain is a cases of over-confidence – confidence as a result of his long experience and also as he was also a flying instructor. It seems that he did not take good note of his flight charts”. This, said the news site had been “a big mistake”.
Libyan aircraft have not been permitted to fly in EU airspace since April 2012.
One pilot, who no longer works for a Libyan carrier, said that when he heard the story of Flight 192, he thought it was a joke. “ Even allowing for messing up filing a flight plan, there was a copilot. On an Airbus, both pilots have exactly the same displays. They should have punched in the route into the flight management computer. It seems absolutely inexplicable that something like this could occur. When I was first told this, I thought the guy was kidding”. [/restrict]