After an electrical fault cut off all radio communication, a pilot on a EasyJet Airbus 319 feared being shot down by the French military. This new information was reported by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.
The 42-year-old pilot, rather than risk a very dangerous confrontation with 144 people on the plane, chose to fly hundreds of miles to Bristol using manual controls alone. Apparently the aircraft had experienced difficulties on the outbound flight from Stansted to Alicante. The crew believed that they heard a very loud “clunk” noise.
Despite the fault being identified as one of the aircraft’s generators, the plane was said to be safe enough to fly all the way back home to Britain without remedial action needing to be taken. It was not until the plane was over Nantes that the crew heard yet another loud noise. This time, however, the electrical failure was so severe that the plane, not only lost radio communication, but the pilot was faced with nothing except blank screens. Attempts to contact the nearest air traffic control fell dead.
The report went on to say, “Furthermore they were concerned that if they deviated from the flight-planned route to divert to an en-route airfield, it might be considered a hostile action, which could lead to counter offensive measures being taken against their aircraft.”
Since the weather conditions were good, the crew chose to continue the trip all the way back to Bristol and was able to land safely. An Airbus spokesman said that it has now acted upon recommendations from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.
Thanks to www.telegraph.co.uk for the above quotes.