Lufthansa 044 wingstrike: how the newspapers changed their opinion

I think that the wingstrike at Hamburg was most probably caused by a pilot mistake in the “decrab” of the A320 just before touching down. My opinion is based only on the analysis of the famous video made by a spotter just outside the airport’s fence and it is a qualitative evaluation that I’ve explained in my previous post on the same subject.
Initially, almost all media coverage reported that the pilot flying the A320 was a hero, because able to prevent a disaster (without analysing the accident under a technical point of view); when Lufthansa declared that a young female pilot, named only Maxi J., was flying the LH 044 when it was invested by the gust of wind, many journalists drastically changed their opinion. The hero, on the following days, had become the more experienced Captain Oliver A. who flew the second approach after recovering the aircraft from the dangerous attitude. Many newspapers changed their opinion on the mishap when it was unveiled that the approach was flown by a female First Officer and simply could not understand why an experienced pilot had allowed his less experienced female colleague to land the airplane in stormy weather conditions. First of all, an in-depth analysis is paramount to determine the cause of the wing strike. Even if I think the pilot made a mistake during the “decrab”, my opinion doesn’t depend on the gender of the pilot. Then, it is not surprising that the pilot flying was the F/O, as it is a common for pilot and co-pilot to swap roles on commercial flights. Co-pilots have to comply with the same training requirements as captains and must be able to face with the some problems and to perform the same tasks. I was not surprised that a co-pilot was landing the plane at Hamburg: if the captain has decided to leave the colleague land, he was confident that she could do it in safety considering the wind, visibility, runway, etc. at the destination airport.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.