May 23, 2022
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London (CNN) — A Virgin Atlantic flight heading to New York’s JKF Airport turned back to London Heathrow after it emerged the primary officer hadn’t completed the airline’s final flying test.

Flight VS3 was round 40 minutes into the journey on Monday when a “rostering error” emerged, resulting in the flight returning to London, an airline spokesperson mentioned in a press release to CNN Thursday.

The primary officer joined the corporate in 2017 and is certified in accordance with UK flight laws, however wanted to finish the airline’s inner “final evaluation” flight, the assertion mentioned.

Virgin Atlantic mentioned the flight’s captain, who’s “extremely skilled” and has been with Virgin Atlantic for 17 years, didn’t have the designated coach standing, and the primary officer was changed with a brand new pilot.

The corporate mentioned each pilots had been totally licensed and certified to function the plane, and the pairing didn’t not breach aviation or security laws.

Nevertheless, the airline mentioned the state of affairs was not compliant with Virgin Atlantic’s inner coaching protocols, prompting the choice to show back.

A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson mentioned in a press release: “Attributable to a rostering error, flight VS3 from London Heathrow to New York-JFK returned to Heathrow on Monday 2nd Might shortly after take-off.

“The certified first officer, who was flying alongside an skilled captain, was changed with a brand new pilot to make sure full compliance with Virgin Atlantic’s coaching protocols, which exceed trade requirements.”

Passengers on the flight arrived in New York 2 hours 40 minutes later than scheduled, which the airline spokesperson apologized for.

The UK’s Civil Aviation Authority confirmed that “each pilots had been suitably licensed and certified to undertake the flight.”

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