Daily WailA Flybe flight plummeted 500ft in 18 seconds after an incorrect autopilot setting caused it to aim for the ground, an investigation has found.
Forty-four passengers and four crew were on board the flight from Belfast City Airport to Glasgow Airport when the incident occurred shortly after take-off on January 11.
A report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) stated that autopilot was engaged when the Bombardier Dash 8 Q400 turboprop plane reached an altitude of 1,350 feet.
The aircraft continued to climb to 1,500ft but it “pitched nose-down and then descended rapidly” because autopilot was mistakenly set with a target altitude of zero feet.
Cockpit alarms alerted the captain and first officer to what was happening. They later reported they had “become visual with the ground”.
The captain disconnected autopilot and recovered the aircraft, having dropped to 928ft.
https://www.gov.uk/aaib-reports/aaib-in ... h-8-g-ecoe