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Lusa - Business News - Angola: Union backs pilot's decision to continue turbulent TAAG Lad-Lis flight

Luanda, March.24,2023(Lusa)- The Angolan pilots' union on Friday expressed solidarity with the decision to continue the flight by the captain of the TAAG Luanda-Lisbon flight, affected on Thursday by severe turbulence, acknowledging that the injured passengers may not have had their seat belts on.
The leader of the pilots' union of Angola, Miguel Prata, who was also on board the plane, as a passenger, said that about two hours after takeoff, the aircraft went through an area of severe turbulence, when the meal service on board was just finishing, and there was a variation in altitude.
"And that unfortunately, although the [indicators for the] seat belts were on, probably some passengers and some crew might not have had their belts fastened, so our recommendation is to keep your belts fastened whenever you're seated, because these are phenomena of nature that you can't always predict," he said.
The captain and crew, after assessing the conditions of the injured on board and the airworthiness of the aircraft, opted to "continue the journey", which Miguel Prata believes was the most correct decision.
"And we could see that there was a certain amount of assistance upon arrival in Lisbon, from some ambulances, which was a precaution to guarantee all possible and necessary assistance to those who had been injured", he stressed.
The union leader stressed that "most went down the steps off the plane on their own feet, some with assistance".
"But there was nothing serious, because otherwise I firmly believe that the captain would have returned or even eventually landed at the nearest airport," he noted.
"Let's have faith that it was the right decision, I trust, TAAG [Angolan airline], for sure and I don't believe that the commander would have taken the decision that was not the right one," he added.
Ten people with minor injuries were reported, including eight passengers and two crew members, who were immediately given first aid on board by the cabin crew and the emergency services on the ground were called, which were on standby when the aircraft arrived at Lisbon's Humberto Delgado airport.
TAAG said, in a note about the incident, that after observation and assessment by the medical team only two passengers and one crew member were taken to hospital for additional checks, with the remaining passengers able to disembark without assistance.
The Angolan airline said that the aircraft would be inspected by the relevant authorities, and an investigation into the occurrence was also underway.
"It is important to clarify that the severe turbulence recorded on this flight occurred in the open sky, a type of turbulence that cannot be detected by the instruments and in a geographical location fairly close to the final destination (Portugal) and the commander took the decision outlined in the protocol to continue the flight, within the initial flight plan," the statement said.
The company noted that other situations of this type had occurred in the past, "and TAAG will continue to ensure the operational safety of flights," highlighting "the ability and pride of the crew to provide immediate assistance to passengers in a very challenging situation, as well as the decisions made by the commander to control the aircraft, despite adverse weather conditions and landing safely at the stipulated final destination, with people safe and sound.

Agency : LUSA

Date : 2023-03-25 12:42:00


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