Birmingham Post

Serious air incident after ‘Miss’ and ‘Ms’ mix-up

Flight was overweight as women were classed as children

- Brett Gibbons

A TUI flight from Birmingham Airport to Majorca suffered a “serious incident” caused by an IT error, an investigat­ion has found.

The glitch caused the aircraft to take off with incorrect weight calculatio­ns as female passengers using the title “Miss” were classified as children.

The departure with 187 passengers on board was described as a “serious incident” by the Air Accidents Investigat­ion Branch (AAIB).

An update to the airline’s reservatio­n system while its planes were grounded due to the coronaviru­s pandemic led to 38 passengers on the flight being allocated a child’s “standard weight” of 35kg as opposed to the

correct figure of 69kg. This caused the load sheet – produced to calculate what inputs are needed for take-off – to state that the Boeing 737 was more

than 1,200kg lighter than it actually was.

Investigat­ors described the glitch as “a simple flaw” in an IT system.

It was programmed in an unnamed foreign country where the title “Miss” is used for a child and “Ms” for an adult female.

Despite the issue, the thrust used for the departure from Birmingham on July 21 last year was only “marginally less” than it should have been, and the “safe operation of the aircraft was not compromise­d”, the AAIB said.

The same fault caused two other Tui flights to take off from the UK with inaccurate load sheets later that day. The system was adapted when the problem was first identified 11 days earlier, but this did not correct the weight entries for the July 21 flights. The operator subsequent­ly introduced manual checks to ensure adult females were referred to as Ms on relevant documentat­ion.

 ??  ?? > The IT bungle involved a Tui flight at Birmingham Airport
> The IT bungle involved a Tui flight at Birmingham Airport

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