August 8, 2014

Cabin pressure for Ryanair at Eindhoven Airport

Filed under: Aviation by Orangemaster @ 12:33 pm


On 4 August, Eindhoven Airport decided to close for air traffic at 15:45 sharp and hold a ceremony for the C130 aircraft bringing back more bodies from flight MH17 shot down in Ukraine.

A Ryanair pilot on approach to the airport at 15:32 got turned away by air traffic control (ATC) and told there would be a one hour delay for landing, which eventually forced the plane to divert. The pilot told the tower that they planned to get in on time between 15:30 and 15:40, a flight plan that was approved beforehand. When refused landing, the pilot got upset. A former Dutch pilot recorded the verbal volley and a YouTube controversy was born.

The former pilot completely understands the Ryanair pilot’s frustration who did everything he could to land his plane on time before the airport closed. For the many people on the Internet who hate Ryanair, it would be too easy to say that the pilot had no respect for the dead, which Ryanair says is not the case, and why would it be. The pilot was very much on time and if we believe what we hear, ATC isn’t really giving them a good excuse as to why they couldn’t land before 15:45 besides letting us assume that the events were not very well coordinated, as echoed by the pilot.

Perhaps the pilot could have stopped arguing earlier and just diverted as instructed, but not trying to land the plane with an approved flight plan would have also made him and Ryanair look bad. I can imagine it was easier to try and convince ATC since they weren’t saying why they couldn’t land, which probably would have appeased the pilot and given him something to pass on to the passengers, so that they wouldn’t blame Ryanair. I don’t see why the tower didn’t say ‘sorry we messed up, please understand’ and get Ryanair to divert instead of stubbornly not giving the pilot a straight answer. The Airport could have also easily closed for more time than they needed considering the circumstances. Bad communication all around, with a distinct hint of cultural differences.

(Links:,, Photo of a dress-up co-pilot clearly sitting in the wrong seat)

Tags: , ,