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The shocking reason this Virgin Atlantic flight had to turn around

Forty minutes into its flight to New York from London, a Virgin Atlantic aircraft was turned around, when the first officer admitted that he had not completed his final flight assessment before boarding the flight. 


Despite this, the pilot had still been rostered to work. 


The plane was grounded in Heathrow until a replacement was found, The Guardian reported. 


A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson blamed the incident on a “rostering error”.


“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,” the spokesperson told the publication.


The captain, though highly experienced and having worked at the airline for 17 years, was not qualified to fly with a co-pilot who had not completed Virgin Atlantic protocols.


A Civil Aviation Authority spokesman told UK media that both crew members were fully licensed and qualified to operate the aircraft.


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


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Published: 9 May 2022

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