Pilots Suspended After Dramatic Flyby

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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. Local news reports and online videos say observers in the terminal were shocked and frightened by the maneuver. None of the 200 passengers on board complained, the company said. The flight had originated in Miami. “In aviation, safety always comes first. We are taking the incident very seriously,” an Air Berlin spokesman said.

Air Berlin, which has been flying since 1978, filed for insolvency in August, and will fly its final flights this month. It’s Germany’s second-largest airline, after Lufthansa. Lufthansa has agreed to buy 81 of its aircraft and a large part of its operations. Lufthansa will also hire about 3,000 Air Berlin employees.

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