(CBS) – It was like a scene out of “Top Gun”.
A German aviation watchdog is scrutinizing a fly-past by Air Berlin’s last long-haul flight to its hub in Duesseldorf, which German media said was the pilot’s unique way of saying “goodbye” to his passengers and the insolvent airline.
The pilot of the flight from Miami on Monday (October 16) pulled up the aircraft above the runway in Duesseldorf and made a low pass over the airport before coming around and landing.
On Tuesday, a spokesman for Air Berlin said the Federal Aviation Office was investigating, but declined to provide further details or confirm reports that said the maneuver was an intentional “lap of honor”.
The Federal Aviation Office said while go-around maneuver were a normal procedure in air traffic, it had asked Air Berlin for details of Monday’s incident involving the A330 plane because it differed from ordinary go-arounds.
Air Berlin, which has struggled to turn a profit over the last decade, filed for insolvency on August 15, and a government loan has kept its planes aloft while its administrator negotiated with prospective buyers for parts of the business, with German flagship carrier Lufthansa signing a deal last week to buy large parts of Air Berlin for 210 million euros ($247 million).
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