A pilot with more than 30 years experience was forced to turn his plane around — because he was not qualified to land in fog, an airline confirmed Thursday.
Passengers on the 8:4 5.a.m Flybe flight to Paris were just minutes away from landing at their destination when they were told they would have to go all the way back to Cardiff, England.
One passenger from Bristol missed a job interview in France because of the incident.
Cassandra Grant explained: "Twenty minutes outside Paris, the captain said, 'Unfortunately I'm not qualified to land the plane in Paris. They are asking for a level two qualification and I only have a level five. We'll have to fly back.'"
A spokeswoman for the airline said Flybe, a low-cost airline, backed the pilot's decision "100 percent."
He had recently switched from flying a Bombardier Q300 to a Bombardier Q400 and has not completed the "requisite low-visibility training," she said.
The dense fog covering Charles de Gaulle airport had not been there when the flight took off, she added.
The plane was already three hours late due to bad weather in Wales.
The pilot's situation is "quite unusual but probably not unheard of," according to the Civil Aviation Authority.