Trip to Australia: Breakdown prevents Baerbock's onward flight at the second attempt

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock failed on her second attempt to fly to Australia with the Air Force's readiness to fly.

Trip to Australia: Breakdown prevents Baerbock's onward flight at the second attempt

Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock failed on her second attempt to fly to Australia with the Air Force's readiness to fly. "If you look at the monitors, you will also recognize the same flight behavior as yesterday. We are currently circling. Unfortunately, the same problem that we had yesterday happened to us again," said the flight captain, according to a dpa Reporters on board the plane.

After taking off at 1:00 a.m. local time (11:00 p.m. CEST) in Abu Dhabi, the plane initially climbed, but did not pick up speed. 15 minutes after take-off, the Airbus A340-300 veered off course again and flew back towards the desert emirate, where it landed again at 2:57 a.m. local time.

Defective landing flap

Baerbock was contrite in a first reaction: "Sometimes it's really darn." The Green politician is on a week-long trip to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. On Monday, your plane had to make a longer stopover in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates due to a defect in the Airbus landing flaps.

"The flap enlargements, the wing enlargements can no longer be retracted. They locked themselves again (...). We spoke to Lufthansa test pilots. This error does not exist," said the captain after he had talked about the recent flight on the flight return informed. "For those who are anxious, there is no need to worry at all. We have enough fuel. When we reach our landing weight again afterwards, like yesterday, then it will be a completely normal landing." He's been doing it for a few years, said the captain, "but nothing like this has ever happened in the history of readiness to fly."

It is the second such breakdown within 24 hours. Early Monday morning, three minutes after take-off at 3:33 a.m. local time (1:33 a.m. CEST), the flight captain noticed a defect in the retraction of the flaps. After the crew had drained around 80 tons of kerosene from the fully tanked plane in a two-hour maneuver over the desert emirate and the sea, it landed back in Abu Dhabi at 5:33 a.m. local time.

Pilot is little optimistic

Since the landing flaps could not be fully and synchronously retracted as necessary, the aircraft could not reach normal cruising altitude and speed - kerosene consumption would have increased significantly on the long route to Australia. Since the aircraft was fully fueled for the almost 14-hour flight, the weight had to be reduced significantly for the landing.

After another mishap at the second attempt, the pilot made a less than optimistic prognosis over the on-board microphone: "The flight is over for us today. Since we are absolutely in the dark at the moment as to which computer is to blame for the misery, it will be for probably not give us another flight to Australia, even tomorrow." They are now trying to find out how the plane can even get back to Germany.

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