German air safety officials are demanding answers from bankrupt carrier Air Berlin after one of the company’s pilots aborted his landing close to the runway on Monday to execute a low pass around the Duesseldorf Airport’s control tower.
Videos of the incident show the plane appearing to set down for a landing before it tilts sharply to the left and flies around the control tower. The Airbus A330 flight, carrying about 200 passengers, was Air Berlin’s last known transatlantic journey, according to The Local.
A Federal Aviation Office spokesman said Tuesday that it is not unusual for pilots to abort landings when necessary. The company also said in a statement that the maneuver was agreed upon with the airport’s flight control center and that no passengers made a complaint after the aircraft landed safely.
But Stefan Commessmann told The Associated Press that the Air Berlin pilot's action "differs from the usual maneuvers and the reason for it needs to be clarified."
It was also not immediately clear why witnesses — who appear to be airport control tower workers — were filming the aircraft before it even attempted the maneuver.
Air Berlin ceases operating at the end of October.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.