“Plane took off with crew that was about to clock out”
To avoid the crew having to work overtime, a Widerøe aircraft carrying 40 passengers turned around just before landing and returned to an airport hundreds of kilometres away. The plane had already begun its descent in the small town of Mosjøn in Norway when it turned back to Trondheim. SAS-owned regional carrier Widerøe explained that the last-minute decision was due to Norway’s strict work-time regulations.
“The captain said on the tannoy that it was unbelievable, but that it had been decided we had to turn around,” passenger Steinar Henriksen said.
A spokesman for the company, Richard Kongsteien, said: “Unfortunately the plane took off with a crew that was about to clock out. We have strict working hours that are imposed by the authorities, which we cannot exceed. If the plane had landed, it would have had to stay in Mosjøn since we didn’t have a back-up crew there and the schedule for the rest of the evening would have had to be cancelled.”
[photo courtesy Widerøe]