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Third attempt to land 'a mistake'

The flight crew in today's commuter plane crash may have made a mistake by persisting in attempts to land in fog at Cork Airport, aviation experts said today.

The pilots of the Fairchild Metroliner turbo-prop were making a third try at landing when the accident happened.

Experts said that it was most unusual for pilots to make more than two attempts and that they might have been better off diverting to Dublin where the weather was better.

"There was no emergency call and it's not thought there was anything wrong with the aircraft so it's clear that the weather was just not good enough," said David Learmount, operations and safety editor of Flight Global magazine.

He went on: "Fog can be such a problem. One minute you can see the runway and the next you run into a fog bank and you are in trouble.

"Its not normal to try a third time to make a landing. After two goes, you normally try to go to your designated diversion airfield. The weather at Shannon airport was much the same as it was at Cork, but Dublin would have been OK."

Manx2 is a "virtual" airline in that it did not actually operate any aircraft itself but sells flights which are operated by a number of different carriers.

The Metroliner was operated by Flightline BCN which is based in Barcelona.

It is thought that the Metroliner was registered in eastern Europe. Operating within the EU it would have had an EU airworthiness certificate.