A technical issue caused by a bee forced the pilot of a Flybe aircraft to abort a flight to Ireland last Friday. Soon after Flight BE384 had taken off from Southampton on Friday afternoon, the cockpit’s instrument panel indicated a malfunction.
Flybe later issued a statement saying that the pilot of BE384 turned back to Southampton because of a suspected technical problem. The statement continued by saying that a subsequent inspection by engineers found that the problem had been caused by a humble bee getting stuck in a piece of external equipment.
The statement noted that the turboprop aircraft landed as normal and there was never any risk of danger to the passengers or crew on board. It added that after the investigation had revealed what the problem was, BE384 was able to take off again and arrived in Dublin two hours later than scheduled.
The statement finished off by saying the safety of crew and passengers was of paramount importance. As a codicil, Flybe apologised for any inconvenience the delayed arrival of the flight had caused passengers.
Friday’s bee mishap is not the first time something unusual has affected a Flybe flight. In February 2014, a pilot touched down heavily at Belfast City Airport. The UK’s Air Accident Investigation Branch investigated the incident and issued a report saying that the pilot’s prosthetic arm had fallen off prior to the landing.
The report was released in August and stated that the pilot’s artificial arm had gotten detached while he was manoeuvring before landing. As he did not have time to hand over the controls to the co-pilot, the pilot landed the aircraft one-handed and it bounced before coming to a standstill safely.