The impact of misunderstandings between pilots and air traffic controllers due to language differences has been underestimated as a contributing factor in accidents, researchers from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University said this week. Elizabeth Mathews, an ERAU professor and linguistics expert, said language issues in aviation are not investigated as thoroughly as other factors.
Two pilots for Air Berlin, approaching their last landing into Dusseldorf, Germany, before the carrier’s insolvency, instead flew along the runway, banked sharply, then pulled up and flew one last time around the airport. The maneuver was unauthorized by the airline, and the crew has been suspended. "We wanted to make a mark, a dignified and emotional goodbye," the unidentified Air Berlin pilot was quoted as saying by German broadcaster ZDF.