A Virgin Atlantic flight to New York was forced to turn back to London Heathrow after the co-pilot admitted he hadn’t passed his last flying test.
The plane was over Ireland when the captain was told that the first officer had not completed his training. The Airbus A330 was ordered to return to Heathrow.
The Virgin Atlantic Airbus A330 had to return to London an hour into the flight on Monday while it was over Ireland and then it waited on the tarmac until a qualified pilot was found. Passengers were left angry with the long delay and the knock-on effect for other flights and connections.
The Flight VS3 finally arrived in New York two hours 40 minutes late.
Virgin Atlantic has apologised for Monday’s mistake: “Due to a rostering error, flight VS3 from London Heathrow to New York-JFK returned to Heathrow on Monday 2nd May shortly after take-off. 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. We apologise for any inconvenience caused to our customers who arrived 2 hours 40 minutes later than scheduled as a result of the crew change.”