Oman Air’s Crash Drill Mistaken For Real Crash

Oman Air A330-thumb-450x319-47116.jpgLast night at the 2009 Dubai air show the Flightglobal achievement award for aviator of the year went to US Airways Captain Chesley Sullenberger, who famously landed an A320 in the Hudson River last January.

Sullenberger’s win for his phenomenal skills remind us preparation and training are two keywords in this industry. But perhaps there are times when preparation goes too far, or at least too public.

As reported from Gulf News, Oman Air with government and airport agencies staged a drill to respond to a hypothetical aircraft crash.


The Oman Air website even put up a condolence message from their CEO for ‘those killed in the crash’.

The crash announcement on the website said: “Exercise ExerciseExercise Exercise 13th November 2009 11:14 hrs. Revised informationindicates that Flight WY900 had a total of 158 people on board, thereare 126 injuries, 29 fatalities (including all 8 crew) and 3unaccounted for. It is further reported that there are five residentfatalities.”

Anyone know of any other drills that got mistaken for a real incident?

6 Responses to Oman Air’s Crash Drill Mistaken For Real Crash

  1. David Kaminski-Morrow 15 November, 2009 at 1:41 pm #

    Kenyan authorities can give you a masterclass in this game.

    At least twice (August 2002 and April 2006) they’ve falsely declared a major air crash just to test the readiness of their emergency services – and, in the interests of maintaining realism, didn’t tell Kenyan TV, or anyone else in the media, that it was a drill.

    Of course, the upshot of putting reporters at battle stations by crying ‘wolf’ is that now no-one believes Kenyans when the balloon goes up.

  2. Drills 15 November, 2009 at 8:58 pm #

    A drill if it is informed people will not be as ready as they are supposed to be. Therefore it is important that a drill take place without being informed of. Oman Air in my opinion was doing what it thought was right to do in order to find out it’s Emergency Team’s rediness. I don’t what is so big in it.

    I am an eye witness of the same. I found and saw that the drill was very effective and people were very efficient. I am given the opportunity to give them a score that would be 8/10.

  3. Will Horton 16 November, 2009 at 12:19 am #

    Thanks David and Amirm for your comments! Amirm, I think the attention in this incident is that the airline placed a fake/test message on its website and not only did the public not know, it was not immediately clear the message was only a test of systems, thus causing actual panic a crash occurred.

  4. TJ 25 November, 2009 at 12:05 pm #

    Not many flight operations would go that far, although in-depth emergency response training is very useful in addition to an existing emergency response plan, which many operations don’t have at all.

    Unfortunately I have come accross countless incidents (or at least major operational flaws) that get mistaken for a drill or “a startup hickup” by management. What management?

  5. dsfs 18 December, 2009 at 3:34 pm #

    i dont think this happened. if there was a crash then it would be said in newspaper, tv.

  6. Will Horton 19 December, 2009 at 2:56 am #

    Do note this article is not about a real crash, but rather a fake crash that some people thought was real.

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